Tetris: Are Modern Versions Better Than The Classic?


If you are an 80s kid or if you have at least played Tetris on GameBoy, you know the struggle. The gaming devices that first carried the game did not come with backlights, so players usually have to look for a well-lit place to play it. Aside from that, the consoles run on batteries – and none were rechargeable back then!

Tetris survived decades of gaming. Its simple and straightforward gameplay is the charm. It did evolve over the years though, and long-time players would notice that the modern version of the game has a few more features that were not found (or even possible) in the original version.

Tetris: A Hit Game of the 80s-90s

Many long-time gamers would think of Nintendo’s Game Boy when you mention Tetris. When Nintendo launched Game Boy in 1989, it instantly became a hit among kids and adults alike. Along with the console, Tetris was included as part of the game bundle.

With the success of Game Boy, Tetris also became one of the world’s greatest puzzle games. Some people even purchased the console just to play Tetris (allegedly). The game easily became a hit – mainly because of its easy to learn gameplay and rather simple but difficult to master mechanics.

Image Source: Classic Tetris – Play Emulator

Another reason why Tetris became popular back then is because it was considered as an innovative game during its time. Back then, game consoles were still in their infancy, and players don’t have tons of game varieties to choose from. In addition, game graphics at the time are not yet in HD. To be honest, almost all of the games then were designed in retro-pixel style.

Challenges of Classic Tetris

One of the disappointing aspects of the original Tetris was that, it did not have a backlight. However, this is not exactly the game’s fault. It was thought that Nintendo did that to conserve battery life (for the Game Boy). For those who were already accustomed to cellphones in the early 2000s, backlight seems like a common thing already. But for players in the 80s and early 90s, it was not, and playing Tetris can cause quite an eye strain.

Image Source: Game Boy Wikipedia


Small Screens & Limited Battery Life

Another downside of the old Tetris is that Game Boy screens were awfully tiny. This made gameplay a bit difficult, especially with the lack of backlights. Compared to PC and mobile screens of today, it was glaringly painful to play Tetris on Game Boy.

Aside from tiny and not well-lit screens, the 80’s version has limited hours of gameplay. You can only play Tetris for over 15 to 30 hours using AA batteries. Unlike modern gaming devices nowadays, the old ones had to be bought with new batteries every time they ran out of juice. With a Game Boy, you either have to get batteries every few weeks or get rechargeable AA batteries (which were quite expensive back then).

This is a stark contrast when you play Tetris online today. Phones and PCs are rechargeable, so there’s no need to buy batteries at the store. If you want to play endlessly, you may also just plug in your device so it won’t run out of batteries!

Modern Versions

Newer versions of Tetris are already multi-colored, and they can be either played on PC, mobile, and consoles. There are also many varieties of the game. Some are not specifically titled “Tetris,” but it does use the same mechanics – specifically, fitting block parts together while trying not to fill up the board.

Furthermore, some versions offer a multiplayer feature. This means that 2 players can compete against each other in real-time. This introduces a competitive aspect to the game, which was not available before because Game Boys can only accommodate one player at a time.

Image Source: Tetris®


Are Modern Versions Better Than The Retro Classic Ones?

Some players still like to play Tetris in retro style. Heck, some even like to play it on a Game Boy again – just to get that nostalgic feeling. People who grew up playing with the old gaming consoles will certainly find it quite charming to do it again nowadays.

However, for younger players, it would just be an inconvenience to do so. Besides, Tetris hasn’t really changed in terms of gameplay and mechanics. The modern versions just have improved graphics and added multiplayer features, but overall, it’s basically the same game.