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14 Reasons Why Tetris Is (Still) So Popular and Addictive (an All-Time Classic…)  

Last Updated on January 7, 2024 by Gamesver Team and JC Franco

Game Boy game, TETRIS
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The ’80s was a very iconic decade when it comes to business and technology. Many technological advancements during this era paved the way for equipment people get to enjoy, like the famous Sony Walkman, personal computer, and VHS player. But one iconic entertainment software developed during this period that hardly changed over time is Tetris. 

Believe it or not, after many decades, Tetris has remained so popular that people still find it addictive to play! Even after all this time, Tetris is a go-to for many players for a plethora of reasons. There are many good reasons why people can’t stop playing one of the world’s most excellent puzzle games. Despite all the evolutions in the gaming industry, Tetris has endured. To understand why, consider the following about the game.

Tetris’ unceasing legacy explained in these 14 reasons:

1. Brings good memories

Tetris has been in the gaming industry for many decades, and most of us have probably played it. What’s astounding about the game is how quickly people get “hooked” on it. For many, Tetris is perhaps the first video game they ever played, which, as you can imagine, can bring on good memories. Even if there are more advanced games out there, people’s number one choice is Tetris, thanks to nostalgia.

2. Color and Design

Tetris keeps its players hooked with bright colors and usual Tetrominoes (the block pieces in Tetris). The game presents seven designs, all using a standard color scheme. In some instances, games enhance their aesthetics over the years, and while Tetris has followed suit in a way, it has still maintained the prominent appearance of the game over the years. 

As a result, this is something that keeps old fans of the original game interested and coming back for more. Nowadays, the tetrominoes’ colors now vary from one version to another, but the blocks’ original design remains intact. 

3. Accessible to most

Before its release, Tetris was made available as a bundle with Nintendo’s GameBoy, a portable gaming console. Players could take the game whenever and wherever they wanted, making it a handheld game too. Tetris never lost its accessibility due to being portable from the very early years. 

The game has been available on many platforms, including personal computers, gaming consoles, arcades, calculators, and more modern platforms like phones, tablets, and social networking sites. Nowadays, the accessibility of the game remains the same, and people can even download the game to play it online or offline. More people can reach and play the game because of its accessibility. 

4. Convenient

Playing Tetris is considered easy and convenient. It only requires the players to move all the block pieces into position to form a straight line which then somehow disappears from the screen. And that’s it. In its simplicity, the game actually teaches players a lot about organizational skills. 

Tetris does not require much from the player aside from their full attention if they want to avoid misplaced stacking. The gameplay is conveniently easy to teach to anyone of any age.

5. Very engaging

The scoring system and the drops while playing Tetris keep the players engaged in the game. The player must be engaged and even engrossed in the game to stack blocks so that rows clear consistently, especially as the game speeds up with each round. Full attention is needed while playing to ensure that all blocks are appropriately in their place so that there will be no overcrowding on the board, avoiding a losing stage on the game. One can’t play Tetris while being distracted!

tetris - video game
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6. Good in-game pacing

A game of Tetris usually starts slow then spikes faster. The more rows of blocks a player can clear, the faster the subsequent block drops continue. A player can anticipate the speed of the blocks depending on how many rows they have removed. And as a player clears a somehow tricky bunch of blocks, a bit of relief is achieved. 

Primarily, the game of Tetris is so well-paced that it becomes pretty addictive, so much so that players usually follow up one game with another (and another and another).

7. Variety creates interest

Tetris maintains players’ interest by introducing variations and versions every so often. Each variation includes significant improvements to accommodate the advancing technology and demands from players. New modes are present in the classic game too. 

One considerable variation in the game of Tetris is the multiplayer mode, where different players can battle it out. Another modern version is Tetris Effect, made available for PlayStation, where players are immersed in the game as if they are part of it. These variations make the game intriguing to old fans as well as players who are newly introduced to it.

8. Very intuitive

The game developers created the oddly-shaped block pieces to fit each other perfectly. The ideal thing to do is to put them together to clear the space below. Keep the block pieces piling up, then arrange them together into lines. Avoid the blocks to reach the top screen, or the game is over. That’s a game of Tetris in a nutshell. With accurate intuition, it is not surprising that one can quickly grasp the game, making it one of the most intuitive games around.

9. Develops mechanical and mental skills

Tetris provides mental and physical exercise for players. Part of the game is based on quick reflexes needed to position the block pieces into their correct places. On the other hand, the mind needs to quickly process a strategy to figure out where to place the block pieces to optimize the outcome. 

On a more complex mental skills level, the player needs to plan to maximize the scoring opportunities. For example, players need to set up a multi-line before dropping the required piece. This type of move needs to be well-thought-out if it’s to be executed properly.

10. Competitive

With the multiplayer mode feature’s birth, players were able to battle it out with each other. Each player introduces new strategies to outwit the other player and set the game’s highest possible score. The Classic Tetris World Championship version of the game only ramped up players’ competitive nature. These tournaments are still ongoing until the present, and players are still battling it out for high scores.

11. Develops advanced skills

Mastering Tetris is not only about knowing the basics of it. Players are addicted to the game because it is so much more than just the basics. As the game becomes more challenging, players hunger for it more! Tetris players are always trying to become quicker, cleverer, and more effective at the game.

Comic Con attendee plays Tetris
Sam Aronov / Shutterstock.com

12. Boosts learnability

When playing Tetris, there is always a sense that you are learning something new. This is because there are several ways that a player can insert the blocks making far more than just one option of play available. Players don’t just stick with what they know but try all possible options, which encourages learning at every level of the game. 

13. The Zeigarnik Effect

Psychologists have related the game of Tetris to the Zeigarnik Effect, which explains why the game is addictive. This phenomenon primarily focuses on the idea that something has a magnetic effect on people to keep them coming back for more. Breaking it down to simpler terms, Players see Tetris as a series of unfinished tasks. 

The more incomplete a row or column is in the Tetris’ board, the more we are compelled to solve it, making us come back for me time and again. Let’s just say that the game of Tetris has a certain magnetism!

14. Plain fun to play

Tetris is just plain fun to play! With an assortment of problems to solve, many ways to solve it, and a high score to get, who could say no to an exhilarating game of Tetris. 

Last Word

The thing about Tetris is that once you start playing, it’s tough to stop. Players can while away many hours, completely unaware of how much time has passed! Why has Tetris remained so popular and addictive for all this time? The above reasons give you a clue of the answer to that!

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This article was co-authored by our team of in-house and freelance writers, and reviewed by our editors, who enjoy sharing their knowledge about their favorite games with others!

JC Franco
Editor | + posts

JC Franco serves as a New York-based editor for Gamesver. His interest for board games centers around chess, a pursuit he began in elementary school at the age of 9. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Mercyhurst University, JC brings a blend of business acumen and creative insight to his role. Beyond his editorial endeavors, he is a certified USPTA professional, imparting his knowledge in tennis to enthusiasts across the New York City Metropolitan area.