Tetris (NES, Tengen)

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Tetris (Tengen) boxart.jpg
Release17 May 1989
Gameplay info
Next pieces1
Playfield size10 × 20 (regular), 12 × 20 (co-op)
Hold pieceNo
Hard dropNo
Rotation systemAtari
Tetris (Tengen) title.png
Tetris (Tengen) ingame.png

Tetяis: The Soviet Mind Game, stylized as TETЯIS: The Soviet Mind Game, is a tetromino game for NES published by Tengen, the home video game division of Atari Games. Much of the gameplay mechanics and the graphical style were lifted from the arcade Tetris by Atari Games.

This Game Pak is rare because it was recalled after Andromeda Software, which at the time was Elorg's Western agent for the Tetris brand, lost the game console rights. As a result, the Tengen game was only on the shelf for four weeks before Atari was legally required to recall the game, and the remaining 268,000 TETЯIS cartridges were recalled and destroyed during that time (see History).


  • 1-player: Standard endless mode.
  • 2-player: Simultaneous endless mode, aim to outlast the other player. Both players receive the same sequence of pieces.
  • Cooperative: Co-operate to clear lines on a common playfield. As in 2-player, both players will get the same sequence of pieces.
  • Versus Computer: 2-player with a CPU player.
  • With Computer: Cooperative with a CPU player.


Initially levels advance every 30 lines. After clearing 5 levels they will occur every 50 lines instead (i.e. 200, 250, 300, etc.). The maximum level is 17.

In cooperative mode levels will advance when either player reaches the appropriate threshold.

Level Frames per row
0 33
1 28
2 24
3 20
4 17
5 14
6 11
7 9
8 7
9 6
10 5.5
11 5
12 4.5
13 4
14 3.75
15 3.5
16 3.25
17 3


The score for each tetromino that the player places is , where

  • d = 1 for normal gravity or 2 for soft drop when the tetromino lands
  • r = the level number plus 1
  • h = the row on which the tetromino was placed, minus 1 (0 = bottom)

The game gives line clearing bonuses only after completing each level (or after every 50 lines at level 17). These are scored as follows:

Line clear Score
Single 100
Double 400
Triple 900
Tetris 2500

In cooperative mode both players receive the line clearing bonuses.

Rotation rules


The game uses the same rotation system as the Atari Games arcade version. Pieces spawn with the left side of their bounding box at column 5 and top at row 22. All rotation states align the piece at the top left corner of the piece's bounding box, except for I's vertical state which is placed in the second column from the left.

Because basic rotation can fail when a piece is against the right wall, but not when the same piece is against the left wall, this game will wallkick one square to the left if basic rotation fails. If that fails the piece will not rotate. This allows for a few very unique wallkicks.

All tetrominoes become the same color when they lock, due to limitations of the NES picture memory. The color the pieces change to varies from level to level.

External links