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One of many conversions of the famous block-stacking game available for Nintendo's home console, this one is based on the 1988 coin-op version produced by Atari Games. The goal is to place pieces made up of four tiles in a ten-by-twenty well, organizing them into complete rows, which then disappear. As rows are cleared, the pace of the game increases, and the game ends if the stack reaches the top of the well.

The game features a standard endless mode, as well as a two-player competitive mode where players race to complete each level. There is also a "cooperative" mode where both players play within the same well, working together to complete lines. Both the competitive mode and the cooperative mode can also be played with the computer.

The game offers standard starting-level and garbage options, several different background music themes, and cute little Russian dancers to congratulate you between levels.


Tetris NES Title screen (Tengen release)
Tetris Arcade Here come the pieces.
Tetris Arcade Difficulty Select.
Tetris Arcade Instructions.

Promo Images

There are no promo images for this game

Alternate Titles

  • "Tetяis" -- Alternative spelling

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

My favorite adaption of the falling blocks NES Asinine (1006)

Critic Reviews

The Review Busters NES 2009 10 out of 10 100
The Atari Times Arcade Dec 06, 2004 95 out of 100 95
Ultimate Nintendo: Guide to the NES Library NES 2016 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars 90
All Game Guide NES 1998 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars 90
Power Play Arcade Jun, 1989 87 out of 100 87
The Video Game Critic NES Jan 03, 2013 B+ 83
VideoGame NES May, 1991 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
All Game Guide Arcade 1998 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Commodore User Arcade Mar, 1989 Unscored Unscored


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The NES version of Tetris was available in two different releases, one by Tengen and one by Nintendo. After an extensive legal battle, it was decided Tengen did not have the rights to distribute Tetris for the NES and was ordered to cease distribution of the game. All of the unsold copies are believed to have been destroyed making the Tengen release of Tetris one of the more uncommon NES games.


It's not uncommon for versions of Tetris to incorporate musical motifs from Russian classical and folk melodies; in most versions, a rendition of Korobeiniki (here present in a somewhat mutated form as Troika) is part of the metric Tetris standard. Sometimes however there is musical padding brought in from other sources. While trying to discern the musical origin of another piece of music here, Bradinsky, I found the answer staring back at me from the credits, in the form of Brad Fuller. (It wouldn't surprise me to find that Loginska, another musical composition in this version, is dedicated to programmer Ed Logg. Finally, Karinka is just a mush-mouthed manhandling of the traditional melody Kalinka.)


  • Electronic Gaming Monthly
    • December 1989 (Issue 5) - Most Lawsuits

Contributed to by Pseudo_Intellectual (64820) and 雷堂嬢太朗 -raido.jotaro- (60591)
atari mania