20 February, 2013

Level Up! Blogfest

The Level Up! Blogfest is hosted by Jamie Gibbs at Mithril Wisdom and Allison at Geek Banter.

Games are an important part of living; otherwise life would be boring as hell. You might be a fan of video games, card or dice games, board games or even games you used to play on the playground as a kid. There's always a game that holds a special place with us.

On February 20th, talk about a game you play or used to play; tell us how it works and share your love of the game with the rest of us. It can be any kind of game you like, from World of Warcraft to Hopscotch, from Monopoly to Blackjack and everything else in between. Tell us what you love about that game.


It didn't take me long to think of a game I play often and love--Tetris.

Tetris is a game based on a set of seven tetrominoes (also called tetriminoes) built out of four blocks that "fall" down a ten-wide grid of squares. The objective is to get those pieces (called I, J, L, O, S, T, and Z) perfectly lined up by turning them 90 degrees either clockwise or counterclockwise. When they line up, ten altogether in a row, the blocks disappear.

All the player has to do is make sure those blocks keep falling onto each other in the right way and prevent the stack of tetrominoes from hitting the top of the grid, which is when the game ends (usually). There are special moves (tetrises, where you clear four lines at the same time using the I tetromino, are among the highest-scoring line clears; t-spins are when you turn a T tetromino so it acts like a key in a lock and clears lines otherwise un-clearable) but the concept is simple: Just line up the tetrominoes as they fall.

One of the things I really love about this game is that it gets as hard as you want it to. There's always a level above you or more points to score by using the aforementioned special moves. Some of the game types (Sprint, Ultra) end after a timed period, but others allow you to continue playing as long as you can keep your stack of tetrominoes from the top of the grid.

Tetris Survival is my all-time favorite (my high score is 652k), since after Level 20 there's a bonus Level 21, which is infinite and a really fun challenge because the grid blacks out for longer and longer sets of time, requiring you to memorize the positions of every block. Marathon (high score 707k), also one of my faves, is similar, but its 15 levels are much longer by about 50 or so lines toward the end of the game and there's no infinite level.

Have you ever played Tetris? If so, do you have a favorite version (e.g., Survival, Battle, Ultra, Arena)? If not, do you think you'll ever try it out? Are you a fan of puzzle games or do you avoid them like the plague?

-----The Golden Eagle


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I played the original version a few times.

Pat Hatt said...

Yeah played tetris a ton, have it on my phone and when stuck waiting give it a run.

Sandy Campbell said...

Hi! Enjoyed your post!! Looks like a lot of fun! Sandy Please visit me too!!


Gabriel said...

When I was a kid, I used to love Tetris. It was a fun companion during those boring Sunday family drives. Now, I prefer chess or an open world first-person shooter.

M.J. Fifield said...

Oh boy, do I love Tetris. I could easily spend hours playing that game. I had a tetris game for my Game Boy that I played the most. My all time best was level thirty two or something?

I knew it was time to stop playing when I started having dreams about perfectly lining up blocks.

Jamie Gibbs said...

Ahh Tetris - the cause of my frustration as a young boy and the thing I have to thank for my ability to pack for University with only a single car load.

Thanks for taking part in the blogfest!

Jamie @ Mithril Wisdom

Liz said...

I loved Tetris. If it's a puzzle game, I'm so there. I think the only reason I got a Gameboy was for that one game.

Mark Means said...

wow, you really know your tetris. I've played it a lot, but never knew the names of the pieces.

Anstice Potts said...

I've played a much simpler version of it when I was younger, but this sounds a lot more complicated! I love this sort of puzzle game so I might give it a go.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I never played Tetris but my children had the game.

Allison said...

I found out about Tetris Battle on Facebook a few years ago and it took up quite a few hours of my time. Classic! Thanks for joining in the blogfest!

Allison (Geek Banter)

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

I've actually never played Tetris. Seems strange, not quite sure how I missed out on that.

Voltech said...

I used to play Tetris on my cell phone before I got upgraded to a (slightly) better one. It was a brief time, but a good one. As long as I had that, there wasn't much reason to buy any other phone games. Ninety-nine cents? More like ninety-nine reasons not to buy, am I right?

"Are you a fan of puzzle games"

Not my favorite genre, but I'll mess around from time to time. Incidentally, puzzle games are the only games my mom has ever even dared to touch...and likely assumes that that's the only type of game that should be created.

Aldrea Alien said...

Tetris! Oh that takes me back to playing that in the back of the car while my grandfather complained about the music (right after he bought it for me >_>).

Anonymous said...

All I have to say is: hell yes to Tetris. :3

Anonymous said...

I have great memories of Tetris. And Dr. Mario.

Paul Tobin said...

Like Alex I played it in the 90's I'm not that big on electronic games- I like Mah Jong. You almost sold me on Tetris though

Carl V. said...

Tetris is too much fun, it really is. It is a deceptively simple game but one that is hard to master the longer you are able to stay alive. I love the tension when the stack gets closer to the top and you just hope and pray for that right piece to come up in the queue so that you can keep the game going.

Charles Gramlich said...

IF I get a chance to do this I'll talk about Doom! or maybe Skyrim. Love tetris.

Mark Noce said...

Woot, woot! Great post:) I work for a game company, GREE, so I'm all there:)

Romance Reader said...

Hi! I play some games. But not all. I've played Tetries when I get the time-love it!


Tyrean Martinson said...

Tetris is fun, and I love that there were two entries about it! However, I must admit, as soon as it gets going faster, I'm terrible at it.

Rusty Webb said...

I played it back on the nintendo when it was ridiculously popular. It seems like that the inventor was a Russian guy during the cold war. I vaguely recall finding the story of how that game was developed and hit it big was very interesting in and of itself.

Allyson Lindt said...

Ha! Brilliant choice ^_^ I love any version that lets you start off a little tougher - with random bricks already on the screen. But the original is still probably my favorite. The frantic pace that gets faster and faster each level.

Carol Kilgore said...

I don't play games online because I become addicted after just one and can't stop. So I just don't play.

michelle said...

You can count the number of times I've played it on one hand.. I'm useless when it comes to online games.

The Golden Eagle said...

Alex: I love the original-style versions that are still around.

Pat: Haha, I just added it to my phone as well.

Sandy: Glad you liked it! :)

Gabriel: I want to learn chess sometime. It seems like a fascinating game.

M.J.: I don't know what the equivalent of 32 would be now . . . but it sounds like you were really good!

LOL. I've done the same thing.

Jamie: I know what you mean; I find myself treating things like Tetris as well when I have to pack them.

Thanks for hosting! :)

Liz: I like puzzle games, too.

Mark: I had to remind myself what the S and Z pieces were called, I'll admit!

Anstice: It's the same concept, though. That hasn't changed. :)

Susan: Cool!

Allison: I've spent hours on Battle as well.

Thank you for hosting. It's been a lot of fun!

Rachel: Hope you'll check it out, in that case!

Voltech: Agreed. I found a free Tetris app for my phone yesterday and I'm sure I'll be using it.

Puzzle games are my favorites, at least when it comes to online games. Though I'm open to almost anything if something about it intrigues me.

Aldrea: The music can get on your nerves after a while . . . I love it, but it's so shrill. :P

The Capillary: :D

Joshua: Never played Dr. Mario. Sounds like fun!

Paul: I can play Mah Jong for hours. It's a lot of fun.

Carl: I love that, too. The game's addictive!

Charles: I remember reading one of your past posts about Skyrim. I've heard a lot of good things about it.

Mark: Thank you!

That's so cool you work for a game company.

Nas: I haven't played a lot of games, either. The internet seems to be changing that. :P

Tyrean: It can get tricky when it's fast!

Rusty: There's some interesting stuff on Wikipedia about it. Pretty cool origin story.

Allyson: Thank you!

Oh, maps . . . I'm not as good at those as when the screen starts blank, but they're fun.

Carol: I try not to play for too long, but it's hard. :P

Michelle: I haven't played very many, either! I tend to stick with the ones I really like and not bother with the others.