By Brad Cook
Tetris on the iPod is not the games first association with Apple. In the book The Ultimate History of Video Games, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak reveals: I had my name in Nintendo Power Magazine several times for top score on Game Boy Tetris. It got to the point that they wouldnt print my name again, so I had to use a fake name: Evets Kainzow. The magazine published it, unaware it was the same person.
A member of Computer Gaming Worlds Hall of Fame, Tetris may have gained many fans on home computers and video game consoles during the mid-to-late 1980s, but it exploded in popularity when it was packaged with Nintendos original Game Boy. Updated for the new era of portable gaming, Tetris on the iPod features beautiful color graphics, complementary sound effects, and an engaging musical soundtrack thats an update of the original Tetris theme.
New Twists on a Known Formula
The basic gameplay, however, is what you remember: Drop seven different types of pieces, known as Tetriminos, to the bottom of the screen, stacking them so they form complete lines across the playing field. Those lines disappear, giving you room to drop more Tetriminos. The game ends when the pile reaches the top of the screen.
There are three ways to play Tetris: Marathon, the traditional method in which you try to score as many points as you can in the games 15 levels; 40 Lines, which challenges you to clear 40 lines from the screen as fast as possible; and Ultra, in which you go for as high a score as possible in three minutes. The game keeps track of your greatest achievement in each mode, and when you start a new Marathon session, you can begin at any level you previously achieved.
No matter which game mode you choose, youll certainly give your brain a workout. In fact, one study found increased energy efficiency in the brains of subjects who played Tetris for several weeks. So now you truly can say youre doing something important when you pull out your iPod and fire up a Tetris session.
Tips and Tricks:
- You can slide a Tetrimino, such as the S or Z one, under an overhanging part of another piece by rotating the click wheel to the left or right just before it comes to a rest.
- The Select button drops the Tetrimino faster, while the Play/Pause button drops it immediately. The faster you place a piece, the more points you receive for it. If you let it descend at its own pace, however, you dont get any points when it comes to a rest, unless it clears one or more lines.
- Clearing four lines simultaneously is known as a tetris. To attain one, stack the Tetriminos so that an empty column appears somewhere in the playing field. When its turn comes up, drop the I Tetrimino vertically in that slot.
- The game shows you the next three Tetriminos due to appear. Use that information to plan your stacking.
- If you rotate a Tetrimino just before it locks down on the stack, you can keep it alive for a few extra seconds and nudge it into another spot. That allows you to recover at the last second from a potentially fatal mistake. However, you will waste precious time in the process, which will impact your score when playing in Ultra or 40 Lines mode.
- An image known as a ghost shows where your current piece will land in the stack. To give yourself an extra challenge, turn off the ghost in the Options menu.
- The Options menu also lets you turn off the games music and instead play songs from your iPod, if you prefer a different accompaniment.
- The new version of the Tetris logo was created by Roger Dean, an acclaimed artist best known for creating numerous album covers for the progressive rock band Yes.
iPod Games FAQ
Do you have questions regarding any of the iPod games available from the iTunes Store?
More iPod Games
- Mac OS X version 10.3.9 or Windows 2000
- iPod nano (3rd and 4th generation only), iPod classic, or iPod (5th generation only). Not playable on your computer, other iPod models, iPod touch or iPhone. Please check which iPod model you have.
- iPod Software 1.2 or higher
- iTunes required to download (games cannot be played in iTunes)