Tetris (Mirrorsoft)

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Tetris (C64) boxart.jpg
Cover of the diskette release of Tetris for the Commodore 64
Developer(s)Mirrorsoft, Rowan Software
ReleaseFirst released for IBM PC on 27 January 1988.
Gameplay info
Next pieces1
Playfield size10 × 20
Hold pieceNo
Hard dropYes
Rotation systemVarious
Commodore 64 version
C64 Mirrorsoft 01.png
C64 Mirrorsoft 04.png
ZX Spectrum version
ZX Spec Mirrorsoft 02.png
ZX Spec Mirrorsoft 52.png
Amstrad CPC version
CPC Mirrorsoft 01.png
CPC Mirrorsoft 05.png
Amstrad PCW version
PCW Mirrorsoft 01.png
PCW Mirrorsoft 06.png
BBC Micro/Acorn Electron version
BBC Mirrorsoft 03.png
BBC Mirrorsoft 06.png
MSX version
Mirrorsoft MSX 0000 fixed.png
Mirrorsoft MSX 0002.png
Atari ST version
Atari Mirrorsoft 03.png
Atari Mirrorsoft 02.png
Amiga version
Amiga Mirrorsoft 01.png
Amiga Mirrorsoft 06.png

Mirrorsoft's Tetris version was the very first commercial release of Tetris in the world. It was unveiled at the January 1988 Which Computer? Show and hit the shelves in the UK on the 27th of that month. During the following three weeks, it was also released for the following home computer platforms: Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Amstrad PCW, BBC Micro/Acorn Electron, MSX, Atari ST, and Amiga.

Along with the version developed by Mirrorsoft's American sister company, Spectrum HoloByte, it was originally released before Andromeda Software was able to get a licensing deal with Elorg. A contract between Andromeda Software (the sublicensing party), and Elorg was eventually signed on May 10, 1988,[1] which secured the legality of the products.

IBM PC version

Main article: Tetris (Spectrum HoloByte)

This was a repackaged version of the Spectrum Holobyte version.

Commodore 64 version

Memorable for its stirring and epic 25 minute long soundtrack composed by Wally Beben, and also for the artwork by Stephen Thomson, featuring a surreal science fiction theme with two naked figures in monochrome. The option exists to choose either music or FX, but not both.

Rotation System

C64 rotations.png

Pieces that fit in a 3x3 grid are aligned to the top-left corner for every rotation, and do not kick.


Pieces don't have a set color, and are instead assigned a random color of blue, gray, green, brown, red, or purple.

Before starting, the player can choose which level from 0-9 to start from. Fall speed is increased with level.

The player earns points for placing pieces, clearing lines, and hard drop distance. Contrary to newer games, more points are not awarded for multi line clears like doubles, triples, or tetrises.

Level Line clear Piece
0 8 5
1 13 5
2 20 6
3 26 6
4 32 7
5 38 7
6 43 8
7 50 8
8 55 9
9 62 9

ZX Spectrum version

The 48k version has title music only, and sound effects during gameplay. Lines are cleared sequentially, and play a tone with pitch determined by the height.

The 128k version had different title music, and also a tune that played during gameplay. Options allowed for either tune or effects, but not both at the same time. Lines cleared all at once, and only one sound effect was used.

Amstrad CPC version

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Amstrad PCW version

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BBC Micro/Acorn Electron version

Features a dire warning at the start mentioning how the game has been banned in its native Russia due to it being dangerously addictive. No music is present, but a tone plays when pieces lock in place, and the tone's pitch is determined by the height when the piece locks.

MSX version

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Atari ST version

Almost identical to the Amiga version, with only a slight amendment to the copyright notices to give credit to "AcademySoft - Elorg".

Amiga version

Featured same title screen music and in-game music as Spectrum 128 version, composed by David Whittaker. Background "fuzzy yellow static" animation could be frozen to enhance visibility. The lines counter maxed out at 99. Six digits were provided for counting score, which would presumably max out at 999,999.


  1. "Tetris: From Russia with Love" (BBC Documentary)

External links