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Posted on September 11, 2012, 7:30 pm

3. Tetris

Nick Jones

Probably the most played game of all time.

You may have played Tetris. It is, after all, one of the most-played games ever.

The 1989 Game Boy version sold more than 35 million copies alone, then there are the conversions to home computers, home consoles, the various PC and mobile phone versions. Yes, even today, nearly a quarter of a century after its creation, Tetris sells in big numbers.

EA Mobile, who has owned the rights to Tetris since 2005, revealed last year that it had sold over 100 million copies of the mobile game. And the Guinness Book Of Records estimates that worldwide over 1 billion people have played Tetris. That’s a one-seventh of the world’s population, folks.

So what’s its secret?

Well, like Space Invaders and Pac-Man, it’s a game with a simple premise that anyone can understand within seconds of picking it up: rotate blocks of different shapes (tetrominoes) and arrange them so that they connect and make complete layers. Once complete, a layer disappears, awarding the player points and the whole process begins anew.

It’s this simple game that turns out to be one of the most addictive things ever invented by mankind.

Over the years there have been many attempts to improve and change the formula but it’s the original Tetris that lives on, that’s arguably the perfect videogame and the only game played by more than a billion people.

Standout moment

Performing a ‘double Tetris’ and scoring 1200 points – in other words clearing two blocks of four rows in succession using two I pieces.


The name Tetris comes from ‘tetra’, the Greek numerical prefix for four (all the Tetris pieces are made of four blocks), and ‘tennis’, creator Alexey Pajitnov’s favourite sport.

Comment by larrytetris on September 13, 2012, 11:56 pm
Halflife and GTA more notable than Tetris? I hardly think so.

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