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Tetris (Game Boy)

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Tetris (Gameboy) boxart.jpg
Cover for North American standalone release of Tetris
Developer(s) Bullet Proof Software
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Release date(s)
  • JP: June 14, 1989
  • US: July 31, 1989
  • EU: September 28, 1990
Platform(s) Game Boy
Gameplay Info
Next pieces 1
Playfield dimensions 10 × 18
Hold piece No
Hard drop No
Rotation system Nintendo Rotation System, left-handed
Tetris GB title.png Tetris GB play.png

Tetris, for Game Boy, is among the most played of its namesake. Nintendo, through the help of Henk Rogers, purchased the license from Elorg to package it with every new Game Boy system. (An exception was Japan, where the system did not come bundled with any games.) Because of this, many players of the Game Boy generation remain familar to this title, as it probably sold more than any other Tetris title so far. Having Tetris packaged with Game Boy may likewise have had something to do with Game Boy's success.

This was the first widely distributed Tetris game to feature 2-player battles with garbage using the link cable.


Game Boy runs at 59.73 frames per second.

  • Soft drop: 1/3G
  • ARE: 2 frames (tetromino is invisible for first frame after it spawns)
  • ARE+line clear: 93 frames
  • DAS: 24 frames (1/9G)

Speed levels:

Level Frames per row
0 53
1 49
2 45
3 41
4 37
5 33
6 28
7 22
8 17
9 11
10 10
11 9
12 8
13 7
14 6
15 6
16 5
17 5
18 4
19 4
20 3

This table is located at 1B06h in the ROM; each entry is one less than the actual number of frames. For example, level 1, or 49 = 31h frames, is stored as 30h.

In Marathon (called A-TYPE), when the player line clear (startLevel * 10 + 10), the level advances by 1. After this, the level advances by 1 for every 10 lines.

The "heart levels" (activated by holding Down+Start at the title screen) are as fast as the level plus 10, but unlike on the NES version, they don't improve the score.

The scoring is based on that of the BPS games but with a level multiplier incorporated, detailed here. The same system would be used in several other Tetris games with minor variations. The maximum score is 999999.


Two-player mode is a garbage-based battle mode played using the Link Cable. Before starting each player can configure their starting height. Garbage is single aligned hole (same for both players) and based on a system that sends 1 line on a double, 2 lines on a triple and 4 lines on a Tetris. In addition, if a player clears 30 lines then they win the round automatically.

Both players have the same piece sequence, same starting garbage and same garbage hole. First to 4 rounds wins the match.

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This page was last modified on 14 May 2019, at 14:20. - Disclaimers - About TetrisWiki