EA to brick Tetris phone app

A popular, official Tetris app is going to get bricked. Users of Tetris Blitz fired up the game yesterday to be given a smarmy "it's time to say goodbye" message from the publisher.

Hello Fans,

We have had an amazing journey with you so far but sadly, it is time to say goodbye. As of April 21, 2020, EA’s Tetris® app will be retired, and will no longer be available to play. Kindly note that you will still be able to enjoy the game and use any existing in-game items until April 21, 2020. We hope you have gotten many hours of enjoyment out of this game and we appreciate your ongoing support. Thank you!

Gizmodo reports that it's unusual for a game to be actively bricked by its publisher, and a reminder that you own nothing.

There are thousands of games on the App Store that developers abandoned years ago, but most can still be played until they stop being compatible with the latest version of iOS. But come April 21, both of EA’s Tetris games will simply stop working. Players are welcome to scream and shout about the decision on their online soapbox of choice. But buried deep in the games’ terms of service, EA has made it clear that the company only has to give notice 30 days before terminating one of its services.

It's not EA's fault, at least not directly: the Tetris Company has a new partner, and it appears EA's license for the game lapsed. Read the rest

"Softbody Tetris": what if tetronimoes were made of jello?

C4D4U's SOFTBODY TETRIS V16 is (as the name implies), the latest in a series of "softbody" simulations of Tetris, in which the tetronimoes are rubbery, jelly-like solids that glisten as they wobble into place. It's an incredibly soothing thing to watch (C4D4U calls them "ASMR for my eyes") and part of a wider genre of softbody sims. JWZ argues that this "becomes intolerable" upon the "realization that completed rows don't liquify" but if that's your thing, you need SOFTBODY TETRIS V9. Read the rest

Gummi Tetris

Shown here is the sixteenth version of "Softbody Tetris" (also an entire genre) by C4D4U, a depiction of falling blocks made of gummi candy. It's necessary to use a powerful computer to simulate this because otherwise the tetronimoes would be eaten before settling into place.

It makes me happy to create such stuff. It makes a lot of fun. ASMR for my eyes ;) I love the original Tetris game. And I love Jelly ?

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A brief history of the bizarre, unholy offspring of Tetris

In 1984, Alexey Pajitnov, then working for the Russian Academy of Sciences, completed his masterpiece, Tetris. It was perfection and, sadly, could only go downhill from there, as the inimitable videogamedunkey explains in this delightful video above.

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Play HATETRIS, the most frustrating version of Tetris ever

According to its infernal creator, HATETRIS "is bad Tetris. It's hateful Tetris. It's Tetris according to the evil AI from 'I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream.'"

Background, hints, and links to others' prior work here.

(via Kottke) Read the rest

Why humans are suddenly getting better at Tetris

In this video [via Kottke], John Green explains why competitive players are suddenly getting much better at Tetris despite the number of players being much smaller than in its heydey: "a group of enthusiasts built spaces both online and off that allowed people to connect with each other over what is usually a very solitary hobby and because small groups of deeply passionate people can often be more productive than large groups of casually interested people."

The improvements apply to a specific implementation of Tetris (8-bit Nintendo) and reflect deep awareness of the technical environment. Read the rest

Shock win for youngster at Tetris World Championship

In this clip, 16-year-old Joseph Saelee defeats Tetris seven-time world champ Jonas Neubauer to become the new Tetris Tsar or whatever they call it. It's mesmerizing! Alex Walker writes:

It was a story straight out of a shonen anime: the new up and comer and the king at the top of the summit, looking down below at the competition.

The second and third game of the series also went completely to the wire. Saelee amassed a lead of more than 160,000 points at one stage by the second game, but had to tap out after things went haywire in the 27th level. Neubauer, behind in points, carried on but went 25 pieces without a long bar - and consequently couldn't get the points needed to catch up.

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Russian van comes with Tetris built into the dashboard


Some models of Russian GAZelle Next commercial vans and trucks have Tetris integrated into the instrument cluster as an Easter egg. Here's the Google translation of the YouTube poster's instructions of how to bring up the game:

1) Turning the ignition on 2) Start a car 3) Three times the right turn signal 4) Two times distant 5) Five times on the clutch 6) raise the speed to 2000 and at that moment we light the arrow to the left

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Cheap magnetic tetrominoes

These bags of Tetris-branded magnetic tetrominoes don't look much good (it's obviously just a rubbery sheet with the shapes stamped out) but they are dirt cheap (49 for $9) and the street (you) will find its own uses. (very previously)

Are there any good magnetic tetrominoes? As in: each "pixel" a cube rather than millimeter-thick. Read the rest

Play Tetris on a soldering iron

The TS100 was already an incredible gadget, a miniature precision soldering iron, a cult product whose magical powers I toyed with upon discovering the wonderful world of assembly-required mechanical keyboards. And now you can play Tetris on it, proving not only that God exists but that He loves us. [via] Read the rest

The thrill of cleaning in video games

For lots of commercial games, being able to spatter the walls with viscera or to leave a mess of smashed barrels and crates behind is part of the abandon. But aren't people often just as driven by the urge to clean up? Read the rest

Documentary on the first Tetris championship

Ecstasy Of Order: The Tetris Masters is a 2011 documentary telling the story of Robin Mihara, a "Tetris superfan" who convened a global Tetris championship in 2010 in Los Angeles, assembling a collection of the greatest Tetris players on earth. The movie's official site has lots more on the event and the documentary, which looks very exciting indeed. Read the rest

Dream of Pixels: Tetris in reverse!

Dream of Pixels reverses time on the best game of Tetris you ever had: a grid of blocks lies already complete, and you have to unpack the tetrominoes that fell to create it.

The iOS version is coming out on Thursday, but you can play the prototype—which lacks the full game's beautiful graphics‐for free on the web. At the official website, developers Dawn of Play promise 5 types of play, amazing music, and a "Zen"puzzle mode for people who like to take their time. [via Free Indie Games] Read the rest

Tetris lights

I have just ordered this seven-piece reconfigurable Tetris light set, which automatically turns on when all the pieces are stacked together. I bet it sucks; if it does, I'm going to go right ahead and make my own 6ft tall version out of plexiglass squares and LED lamps.

Tetris Constructable Light [Amazon]

UPDATE: Amazon is sold out, but if you're in the EU, Firebox has them in stock! Read the rest

Tetris: mere ruleset or copyrighted expression?

What makes Tetris Tetris? The mobile app explosion threw gasoline on the game's already-numbing history of copyright battles. At Ars Technica, Kyle Orland takes a look at the Tetris Company's endless efforts to kill them. These efforts hinge on a seemingly straightforward question: is Tetris simple enough to be defined by a set of rules (to which copyright cannot apply) or does it qualify as protected expression? Read the rest