Games: Blocking Hell!

Tetris is as retro as games come, but still has longevity, writes Killian Woods A game so typically Soviet that it is almost too communist at times to believe, the multi-platform gaming hit, Tetris, is a household name worldwide and a game that not only appeals to your generic Trotskyite.Being such a deceptively simple game, Tetris can be difficult to describe in words. In straightforward terms, the aim of the game is to prevent the blocks that the computer gives you from reaching the top of the screen. The blocks can be cleared by creating complete horizontal lines and reducing the height of the amounting blocks.The blocks come in all different shapes and sizes known as tetrominoes. For all the geometric naive readers, this means a four-box-shaped thingy that ensures endless hours of enjoyment.When described in detail, the shapes almost read as a chapter of an erotic novel. Firstly, there is the majestic ‘I’ also known as stick, straight, long and line. The many nicknames correlate to its many uses and depict its gangsta rep.Even more gangsta is the ‘L’ otherwise known as the gun. In the shape of an L, this tetromino can be a best friend or worst enemy. Similarly, his mirror image sister can crop up and potentially ruin the game for you.The most photogenic of the shapes are the S and Z twins – both also known as s-zigzag and z-zigzag. This devilish pair can be the worst to factor into the game and when forced to make quick decisions about where to place them, lead to mistakes by the player.With the zigzag twins looking to enforce mistakes, ‘O’, more commonly referred to as the square, package or block, is always great for a careful move. It can be applied in nearly any situation.Then there is the wildcard ‘T’ shape. Sometimes it can be a great help in tight circumstances or a curse while you desperately watch the blocks pile up.After hours of game time, everyone soon comes to develop an unwavering love for certain shapes. A typical favourite of most players is the previously mentioned ‘I’ shape. It is universally compatible with any situation and will nearly always fit somewhere.Furthermore, due to hours of game time, you will either be entirely sick of or horribly addicted to this game, and unhealthily preoccupied with completing it. Word of warning though, Tetris is impossible to complete. [That’s what you think! – ed]