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The Good(Don't worry, this won't take long)
One of the best things to come out of Soviet Russia, Tetris is a simple yet insanely addictive puzzle game. Bricks fall down from the top of the screen, and you have to shift and rotate them so they land in unbroken, horizontal lines. Every time you make a line, it gets removed and you get more playing space. You lose if the bricks pile up to the top of the screen. Tetris is a unique combination of logic, pattern-recognition, and reflexes. It's a game anyone can play and enjoy.
Tetris was and still is a cultural phenomenon. The music was originally a Russian folk song, but does anyone recognize it as that? Hell no, it's the theme from Tetris! The little electronic blips the game makes when you rotate a piece have burned themselves into my memory forever. I've had dreams about playing Tetris. What makes Tetris so special? Personally I think it's like a jigsaw puzzle, it taps into the innate "housekeeper" part in all of us that wants to turn chaos into order. Some psychologists even draw Freudian comparisons to the game, although maybe that's taking things too far.
The game's low memory and graphical requirements mean it has been ported to virtually everything with a LED screen, including calculators and wristwatches and key chains. Tetris is the most ported game in history, nothing else even comes close.
Plus you can do weird stuff like arranging the bricks so they spell your name. I suggest you try it if your PSP or DS gets stolen and you've only got a Gameboy to play with.
The BadNothing. Tetris is awesome.
The Bottom LinePlaying Tetris hardly feels like playing a video game. For me at least, it feels like participating in a séance or mind-link with the pieces I'm manipulating. If you think that sounds completely stupid...well...I can't disagree. When you've played a game as many hours as I, it's OK if you're not completely objective when reviewing it.
But seriously, it's been scientifically proven that playing Tetris leads to more efficient brain activity1. I'm sure there have been countless parents who refused to buy their kids Mario or Pacman but relented when it came to Tetris because "it's a brain game." Besides, Tetris is one of the few games a kid could conceivably get his parents hooked on.