Tetris Friends


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PsychotronicTetris FriendstYep, it's just Tetris. No physics model, no three dimensions, no subversion of the concept. Tetris Friends is the official Flash implementation of the greatest action puzzle game ever made, from The Tetris Company itself. And it's perfect. "Simple, fun, free," just like it says at the top of the screen.

This version of Tetris is very friendly indeed. Bright, clear visual and sound effects accompany your every move. The keyboard controls—wonder of wonders—are completely customizable. A three-tiered strategy guide and a basic history of the game are just a click away. The history is biased toward recent Tetris products, and tragically, it doesn't mention Atari's brilliant arcade version, but it's still a nice touch.

Oh, and there's a tousled little boy mascot who cries when you screw up, and cheers when you clear lines. And then occasionally, briefly, bafflingly, he goes Super Saiyan. All I can say is: he's no little Russian dancing guy.

Over the years, a few new features have polluted the purity of Alexey Pajitnov's original design, but they're mostly for the good. You can now see four tetriminos in the oncoming queue, which is perhaps too much information to be useful, but at least you'll know when a straight block is coming up. The popular "ghost block" will let you know exactly where a block will fall if you drop it, and if you're like me and you find the ghost block INCREDIBLY ANNOYING, you can turn it off. Finally, you can shift a piece into a holding box for later use, or as we say at my house, "cheat".

The best part for tetrexperts who get bored during the early slow levels is the bonus scoring options. Beyond the usual point boost you get for engineering a 4-line tetris or dropping tetriminos from the top of the screen, you get rewarded for performing a T-spin, or for clearing lines with consecutive blocks. Essentially, the cooler you are, the more points you get.

But what elevates this Tetris above all pretenders is the little necessities. How you can always rotate a tetrimino, even when it's shoved up against a wall. How you can still jockey a block around after it has already touched the floor (which is absolutely necessary after the terrifying jump in speed at level 10). How the randomization has been tweaked so that you never encounter long, stupid strings of Z-blocks. It's simply a pleasure to play Tetris when everything works the way it should.

Even if you think you're burnt out on Tetris for life, give Tetris Friends a try. You might just re-discover what once made this your favorite game in the world.

Play Tetris Friends

Note: The name comes from this implementation's original incarnation as a Facebook app, which you can play here, if you have an account. On Facebook, you can play Tetris Friends with a variety of different visual themes, background music, and scoring goals.

Thanks for recommending this one, Sebastian!

19 Comments

AWESOME!!! The facebook version is slow, stops at level 15, and eventually needs upwards of 50-70 lines to finish a level. Plus, this one has bonus levels once you pass 20.

I got to 15 on my first try. The blocks were falling almost as fast as a hard drop :P anyways, I prefer this one, and it is the best version in terms of graphics and having the hold function.

6/5

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The non-Facebook Tetris Friends slow down my (puny) computer. Plus I didn't know Facebook had Tetris! So I'm more into the one on Facebook than the other.

You can't go wrong with the Original Tetris. Good Prize!

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Not very playable. Simply too slow. After you land a piece, it takes like a second before the next one appears. That just makes it unplayable.

Something is really really wrong with this comment system. While I was typing, the comment box just disappeared. After some time, it came back. (using firefox 2)

Also the captcha text doesnt' change when I reload the page.

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Wow! I used to play the version they had up there before, but I like this one better. You can still play the old version using the link below, but the new version has a surprise!

Surpass level 20 and there is a secret bonus level that is actually pretty cool. I've only cleared 22 bonus lines so far, but I'm going to do better!

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wow, i can't even imagine how fast level 20 must be, i only got to 13 and the pieces were a blur.

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Wow, I hate this.

Tetris is supposed to be a challenge, and success is supposed to be the reward of practice, not vanity sizing. Even without the cheats, you still have a grid in the background to help you out. Knowing the next four blocks is way too much information. And the blocks are supposed to rotate around a specific axis, so allowing them to rotate up against the wall without exception is, dare I say, an abomination.

And where are some of the basic features that you got 20 years ago with the NES version (i.e., the best)? Level select? I don't want to suffer through 10 levels of inane Tetris hell just to see how fast this game gets. Game modes? B-Type is perhaps a better game than A-Type, and it's the perfect way to learn how to handle any scenario that Tetris may throw at you.

Shame. Not on anyone or anything in particular. Just shame.

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Stu:

I think everybody found a version of Tetris at some point that just felt exactly right, and anything that doesn't follow the same rules will seem a little off. I just think it's great that we're all so passionate about the minute details of a game that's over 20 years old.

jeep:

Just press space to drop a piece and the next block will come instantly.

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original creator or not, has this world really needed yet another tetris implementation?

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Tetris is a classic, its gameplay is timeless (will never get old). It will continue to be a popular game people play for many, many years to come.

This little Web version is quite nice. I just had to play again myself. :)

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What's a T-spin?

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Why do most flash versions that come out only rotate in one direction-clockwise, normally?
From the console versions I had, I remember rotating clockwise AND counter-clockwise. But most games I find, including this "official" one, only do one direction.

I remember being in a contest years back, and winning (mostly because it had both rotating options). If it had just one, there'd be no way to score as well.

Neave's n-blox has both rotating options (as well as a speed up for the block, and an immediate drop), and is probably my favorite. It also includes an option to start at different levels, but that's more for starting with a faster speed, and less with starting with blocks already on screen.
Gavin Ward made a nice version of tetris, too, that offers both rotation methods, but his version speeds up way too fast for me.
Most others, including miniclip's and flashblox's, rotate only in one direction.

Maybe its just me, but if you can only rotate a tetrimino in one direction, its a deal breaker.

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Gruckeri:

You can rotate the other way by pressing Ctrl or "Z". Or you can customize the controls to your liking. Click on the wrench in the upper right.

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After about level 7, it starts getting too fast for me. If there were an option to set the speed you like and keep it that way, it would be a lot more fun than starting from the beginning. I guess you can't go wrong with Tetris, though.

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Dennis M Ryan Author Profile Page December 14, 2008 5:32 PM

You said: How the randomization has been tweaked so that you never encounter long, stupid strings of Z-blocks.

It upsets me when people say this. Tetris doesn't use randomization in a true sense, Tetris uses bags of pieces. Each bag of pieces contains 7 pieces, one allotted for each Tetromino. So, inevitably, you COULD get a relativistically long chain of one or 2 Tetromioes (2 of each Z in a chain, crossed between bags,4 Zs total with the Zs coming next to each other in the bag, same with the Ls, and 2 max in a row per each other piece, i.e. the straight Tetromino, the T tetromino, and the block tetromino). If you read this link http://www.tetrisconcept.com/wiki/index.php/Random_Generator you will get this same essential explanation of the system, which is used in most of the games. It also gives odds for 4 of each piece in a row. There are other generation systems, like the TGM system (linked to here: http://www.tetrisconcept.com/wiki/index.php/TGM_randomizer) and other modes of Tetris use different modes of generation, such as square mode. However, the "random" generation of pieces does allot for relativistcally long strings of pieces, so next time you say you can't have long strings of pieces remember that the system randomizes within itself. I'm an avid Tetris fan, so I get kind of upset when people say you cannot have strings of pieces. While the random generator allows for a max of 4 (or 5, if you have a Z held), that is still a decently long string for anyone who plays or has played Tetris and knows how hard it is to place that many Zs.

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Dennis:

Hey, no reason to be upset. I appreciate the explanation. I would only disagree that four Z-blocks in a row is difficult to place. I've played Tetris knock-offs that did actually use randomization, and therefore gave me a dozen or more Zs in a row. A relativistically long chain of blocks is still a playable one.

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Dennis M Ryan Author Profile Page December 14, 2008 6:27 PM

While you can place 4 or 5 Zs, I play in a manner that keeps the screen organized, a sort of grouping of pieces. Now when you gets towers of Zs, that makes it difficult to keep the game going. So while some people play and can place the Zs, I have issues with the Zs. And yeah clones with true randomization suck

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While I enjoy the older tetris versions much better I still enjoy seeing what they come up with next. At this point I'm a little upset at how easy they make them. Yes the pieces fall faster butttt seeing as you can rotate against a wall and just rotate at the bottom with out the piece locking in, there's really no point in making the pieces fall faster. That being said still fun to play as I love all tetris games. And does anyone know if there is a way to pass the bonus level, i doubt it, but that'd be nice.

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The older version of tetrisfriends.com was much better. The interface was cleaner (no annoying "kid"), you could select a level once you'd gotten to it but started a new game, the "ghost" shape wasn't colored and wasn't annoying, and the applet centered in my browser window. Overall I like this version, but prefer the older one.

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I prefer this verison. It's not slow at all if you play it in firefox (which bums me out because I use and love IE) and I actually like being able to rotate the pieces against the wall or above a piece. I think it adds another element to strategy... rather then being only who can drop them the fastest

and...idk i like the gridlines...
it lets me concentrate on where i want to place them strategy wise instead of whether or not im lined up properly
so i can actually calculate a few drops in ...which i cant do without gridlines

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