I'm really feeling it!
I'm really feeling it!
Illustration for article titled NES Memories: Tengens iTetris/i

Tetris is one of the most enduring games I can think of, having played many versions and bootlegs of the game in my life. The one dearest to my heart, by a long shot, is the Tengen’s soviet-themed version of Tetris.

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Not a word of a lie here, folks. My grandma was a gamer. She would spend hours playing Tetris much to the dismay of all of her grandchildren who wanted to rather play, or at least watch someone play something like Twin Bee or Super Mario.

Usually, we were chased off to play outside, but could watch quietly as she expertly arranged the tetrominos, progressing to levels far higher than we could ever hope to achieve.

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None of us disliked Tetris, it was fun to play but rather boring to watch kind of like some RPGs.

I didn’t even know other versions existed on the NES until much later in life, when I discovered that Nintendo had their own version. Even now, when I think of Tetris, I think of this awesome title screen depicting fireworks over the Kremlin. (I also didn’t know what that was until later in life!)

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The title theme was pretty cool, as were the various songs you could choose as a backdrop to your game. I still remember them to this day!

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Once you scored a certain number of lines, you would level up and the game would get faster, but before you started the next level your stats were displayed while you were treated to some little dancers who would come out and celebrate your progression. I think this could be skipped, pressing a button would make them immediately take a bow and leave.

There was also a VS mode, where you and another player could compete to see who got the most lines.

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My grandma had her NES until well into my teen years, when we were all playing PS2s she was still playing Tetris. Not because she had no other games, it was her favorite. I’m pretty sure she played Tengen’s Tetris until she passed away in around 2006.

That’s all I really have to say about that, but I want to recommend watching Gaming Historian’s The Story of Tetris. It’s quite fascinating how convoluted the licensing of Tetris got, with companies like Atari, Nintendo and others - up to half a dozen different parties - all after the rights to the game.

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What was your favorite version of Tetris? Was your grandma a gamer? Hit me up in the comments if you enjoyed this article, and feel free to do so if you didn’t as well. Thank’s for reading!

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