Back in the mid 80s, video games were still very limited in some sense. The graphics weren’t what they are now, and the gameplay wasn’t complicated. Having said that, it’s surprising that some of the games that came out during that time are also the best selling of all time. Game franchises such as Tetris have stood the test of time and continue to be one of the best and most iconic video games ever created. It seems that sales—even to this day—has nothing to do with advanced graphics or even complicated gameplay. At the end of the day, it boils down to how well the game plays and how fun the videogame truly is.
When it comes to Tetris, there are few that can be compared. The falling blocks premise of the game is something that was never seen before Tetris came out. Tetris was a moving puzzle that had to be solved quickly in order to survive. The game was simple but it provided players with everything that players could ever look for in a game: mental challenge, physical challenge (speed of play), endless playtime, and more. In short, Tetris was addicting. And during that time in the 80s, it wasn’t the graphics that were addicting the way games are made today. It’s just the game itself.
Historically, Tetris also has some point of importance. This videogame happens to be the very first entertainment software to be exported out of the Soviet Union to the US and eventually, the rest of the world. The game had some mathematical aspects to it because of its use of tetrominoes as the basic puzzle figures. These simple shapes are the basis of the entire game, and as simple as that may sound, they have proven to be enough to command a world’s worth of a following.
Different versions of Tetris were sold for different platforms. You could play Tetris at home through a home computer or a video game console. You could also visit the local arcade to play Tetris through an arcade machine. By the late 80s, Game Boy launched a handheld version of Tetris that allowed many people who were already obsessed with the game to take Tetris absolutely anywhere. Even then, it was already clear that there was something special about Tetris. Just over twenty years down the road, Tetris garnered the recognition of being one of the greatest video games of all time. So it’s no question that the entire Tetris franchise is recognizably one of the bestselling of all time as well.
Tetris is considered to be the most successful video game franchise that Russia has ever produced. The game has sold over 170 million units—an impressive number for a meek computer game from the 80s. What’s even more impressive is the fact that there haven’t been many developments pertaining to the game itself. There were some variations. Two-player Tetris games were introduced. There were Tetris Blitz, Tetris Blast, Tetris 2, 3D Tetris, and many other variations in name. However, the basic gameplay remained the same. You still had to use the tetrominoes, and you still had to solve puzzles the same way. That can’t be considered a limitation because of how far it took the entire franchise, and with 170 million units sold, Tetris is hardly a franchise to be ignored.
After over 30 years of being in the video game industry, Tetris somehow manages to still be relevant today. That’s a true testament to just how creative and impressive this game truly is. Many puzzle games that have come out in the last couple of decades have been inspired by the gameplay of Tetris. This game can easily be categorized as a true classic—one that will not stop attracting players regardless of age or generation. It’s an impressive feat considering the beginnings of the game. Tetris is not slowing down, and we could only expect the game to truly last forever. It’s been time-tested throughout all these years, and its worth is something that you can’t really put a price on. If you haven’t played Tetris in a while, pick up the game and you’ll quickly remember why this game is as successful as it is today.
Written by Garrett Parker
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