Skip to main content

See also:

Block Party: Classic 'Tetris' video game celebrating 30th anniversary

The original version of 'Tetris' was completed in the USSR on June 6, 1984
The original version of 'Tetris' was completed in the USSR on June 6, 1984
Google Images

One of the most iconic video games of all time is turning 30.

The original Tetris was first completed on June 6, 1984. Created by Alexey Pajitnov, the puzzle game broke barriers by becoming the first video game to be exported to the United States from the USSR, taking the country and the rest of the world by storm and never letting go.

After making the rounds across the various personal computer platforms of the mid-1980s, Tetris grew in popularity enough to make the transition to countless other platforms and exploded into the mainstream. An arcade version by Atari became a staple of video arcades and street locations and was later ported to the Nintendo Entertainment System by Tengen, resulting in a long lawsuit with Nintendo, which had licensed a version for release themselves.

For many years, Tetris served as a staple for Nintendo. The game was used as the pack-in title for the new Game Boy in 1989, helping drive sales of the handheld system to levels no rival company ever managed to approach. The NES version proved incredibly popular itself and was used as one of the three competition games in the 1990 Nintendo World Championships alongside Super Mario Bros. and Rad Racer.

Even as the 8-bit Nintendo era faded, the popularity of Tetris continued on, extending well beyond a video game phenom and into the very core of mainstream pop culture. Virtually every type of electronic device made today has at least one version of Tetris available for play, from video game consoles such as the Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii to smartphones, tablets and even some graphing calculators. A new version entitled Tetris Ultimate was just announced for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. Competition on the classic versions served as the backdrop for 2011 film entitled Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters.

With no signs of slowing down as it turns 30, it may be a good bet that Tetris will exist in one form or another for generations still to come.