Just last month, the beloved ‘80s classic – Tetris – turned an impressive 35 years old.
Even younger generations that are used to more modern style video games have likely played, seen, or at least heard of Tetris. After all, since its creation in 1984, Tetris has been downloaded more than 500 billion times on mobile devices alone.
So, to honor its lasting legacy, we’re going to share some fun facts about one of the best old-school puzzles games around.
1. The Original Was Super Simple
Alexey Pajitnov originally created Tetris in 1984 while he worked at the Soviet Academy of Sciences. And unbeknownst to many, the version he created was simpler than even the Gameboy version so many kids remember playing.
In fact, Pajitnov’s game had no scoring system or levels. The blocks just fell into place and disappeared as lines were created. And even though there was nothing complicated about it, playing this game was still curiously relaxing and highly addictive.
2.. Tetris is Popular on Multiple Platforms
I’ll never forget the first time I ever played Tetris as a kid. I had saved up all my allowance so I could buy a Gameboy (the clunky, gray one) and it came with two games, one being Tetris. From that day forward I was hooked.
And it seems I wasn’t the only one.
Since its inception, Tetris has made its way onto more than 50 different platforms, including the Xbox One. So, the next time you want to have a little fun, hook up with a local player using your Xbox gaming headset and start a battle.
Just remember that early this year Tetris Ultimate was removed from the Xbox One storefront. So, if you don’t already own a digital copy, you’re out of luck if all you own is an Xbox One.
3. Tetris Goes Beyond a Game
Today, more than 60 licensees and promotional partners sell Tetris related products such as apparel, toys, décor, novelties and more.
For example, after running a quick Google search, you’ll find Tetris products like:
- Coffee mugs
- Key chains
- Stackable LED lights
- Linking storage bins
- Card games
- Tote bags
- And so much more
If you or someone you know holds Tetris close to their hearts after all these years, check out some of the novelty items for sale and surprise them. We bet they’ll immediately feel the sweet sting of nostalgia when they open their gift and remember how this simple stacking puzzle game made them (or continues to make them) feel.
4. Tetris is a Worldwide Phenomena
You may not know this, but Tetris is a global game. In fact, over 200 countries have access to this long-lasting video game and continue to play it on a regular basis even now, 35 years after its debut.
5. Tetris Has Proven Cognitive Effects
Studies show that playing the game of Tetris a half an hour every day for 3 months has the ability to increase:
- Brain function and activity
- Critical thinking
- Reasoning skills
- Language and processing
- Cerebral cortex thickness
And interestingly enough (though there isn’t a ton of research backing these claims up), an Oxford University research group found that playing Tetris after viewing traumatic material reduced the number of flashbacks of that traumatic material in the following week.
These preliminary results give hope to many in the psychology field that those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder may get some relief from flashbacks by participating in exercises similar to plying Tetris.
In the end, Tetris has earned its spot as one of the most popular video games of all time. Even as technology continues to advance, and the gaming atmosphere changes, Tetris holds on tight. And with so many other benefits, besides offering people a brain break from reality, Tetris is sure to stick around for another 35+ years.
To read more on topics like this, check out the gaming category.