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> Strategies for Game Boy Tetris?
post Jul 15 2017, 01:20 PM
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So I recently just managed to get myself a copy of the original Tetris on the Game Boy, and one thing I have noticed is that I am completely terrible at it. When it comes to modern versions of Tetris (I.E. Tetris Ultimate, Tetris Friends), I'm usually pretty good and I can complete Marathon mode without struggling with the piece selection.

If it's one thing that I want to do, it's to be good at the older versions of Tetris too and get great scores (maybe max out if possible) so I'm curious to know if any of you have any good strategies for Game Boy Tetris that I could use? I would love to hear some suggestions that I could use to improve my gameplay better.
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post Jul 16 2017, 02:23 PM
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Have you ever watched NES Tetris? Stacking in GameBoy Tetris is pretty similar, just be a little more defensive (because randomizer is meaner, playfield is shorter and there is no ultimate kill screen). Basically, you have to differ between early levels and level 20. In earlier levels, you try to make as much Tetrises as possible, from time to time burning some lines (Doubles, Singles), if the stack gets too unstable or too high (I piece doesn't show up in a while). I average around 200,000 points after 100 lines (of possible 300,000 points) and 470,000 points after 200 lines. In level 20, just try to stack for Singles (to stay at the bottom and abuse the line clear delay) and survive as long as possible. Without Tetrises, you get around 1,000 points per cleared line there. Know where you want to drop the next piece before it spawns and don't change your mind afterwards. Having a good tapping technique is crucial for level 20. I cross my hands (right hand above left hand because right hand has to work harder), using my right hand for D-pad (fore and middle fingers) and my left hand for buttons A and B (middle and ring fingers). I have never played on a Game Boy Advance (SP), so I can't tell if that technique also works there.

Regarding stacking: either leave the most-left or most-right column open, so that you can score Tetrises there. I think most-left column works best (NES peeps use most-right column, but the GameBoy rotation system is pretty much mirrored to NES). Don't try to make Tetrises in any other columns. The column next to your Tetris column should be also lower, so that you can insert not-anywhere-else-fitting pieces there vertically ("skimming"). For the other 8 columns it's best to have a tub shape or to have a lower stack near the Tetris column. I had recorded 2 videos of me playing GameBoy Tetris: one trying to max out as fast as possible and the other one playing heart mode. There's also a highscore thread for A-Type.

Copy paste of an older post:

Some tips:
  • You are very likely doing it already but it's the meat and potatoes for scoring high in a classic Tetris game with high gravity - so I mention it nonetheless: While you move the current piece, you try to figure out where to put the next piece. So when the next piece spawns, you already know where to put it.
  • In level 20 try to make Single line clears NOT Tetris line clears. The gravity doesn't increase anymore after you reach level 20, so there's no disadvantage in playing ineffectively as long as it increases survival chances
  • For practicing purposes you can start at level 18 (in this case level 20 comes after 100 lines): Hold Down and press Start at the title screen to access "heart mode".
  • Don't use autorepeat. Always tap. Sometimes you have to tap 5 times to get a piece to the right wall (for vertical placements).
  • Finger positions matter. Don't use your thumbs to play GameBoy Tetris. Your index/middle/ring fingers have much higher tapping speeds. With thumbs I was stuck at 600,000 points because I couldn't survive level 20. With index and middle finger I improved my record to over 700,000 points pretty quickly. I didn't reach 999,999 points before I began to cross my hands, using the right hand for the D-pad and my left hand for buttons A and B (using the same fingers like playing Tetris on computers).
Regarding stacking: GameBoy Tetris is probably the Tetris game where you have to play as defensive as possible. It's ok to waste lines for keeping the stack nice. On level 9, score is fine as long as you score 2,000 points in average per cleared line (Tetris is 3,000 points per cleared line, Triples are 1,000 points per cleared line). Leave the Tetris gap only on the walls (I prepare the left wall). Don't stack too high - use skimming in this case. On level 9 I try to have 2 Tetrises prepared (height 8 ), afterwards only 1 Tetris (respectively 0 on level 20).

You usually have a gap on the left or right side where you insert the line pieces (making Tetris line clears). It's best if your stack looks a bit like a funnel. If possible, leave 2 columns empty above the bottom lines, so you can skim with unwanted pieces. After the line piece shows up, you increase the height of the second column, so that you can make Tetris line clears again.

If your stack becomes unstable (not looking like a funnel, not flat enough or containing 3 rows deep wells or too zick-zack ), it's often better to make holes than building towers/skyscrapers . If possible only create holes, that you can get rid of easily (e.g. with platform clears ).
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