QBasic Tetris Games

Written by Lachie D.(December, 2005)

Introduction

At the first glance this article probably didn't catch your interest. Mainly because Tetris is one of the most(if not the most) cloned or remade games in the entire history of computer games which made its gameplay too common and therefore boring. One just can't escape Tetris. You will stumble on some clone weather you want it or not. As a part of a floppy disk coping program(ah, the good old Amiga 500), some installation program(to make the installation less boring, I've seen it) or it came in a pack with some other game you were interested in. Even if you don't like the concept of Tetris you can't deny the influence it had on the computer game industry and individual game designers. Not to mention all the people who refused to play computer games before discovering Tetris.

Other thing that might have pulled you off is the fact that only SonicBlue's Bricks and perhaps Netris of all the QBasic Tetris games made any impact on the community. And those two games are far from the top 10 QBasic games. So you might think that an article of this kind can't be nothing more than a harmless way to fill the magazine with some content. I'm here to prove you wrong. Or not. You could be one of those actually interested in the topic of this article and are now very annoyed with this tedious introduction.

If you don't know what Tetris is I feel sorry for you. I can try to explain the gameplay but since there is around 20 links for various Tetris games in this article just download one and see it for yourself.

The Original Tetris

If you are wondering when the original Tetris was released and how it looks this section will answer all your questions.

Tetris was invented by a 30-years-old Russian researcher Alexey Pajitnov who at that time was working at the computer center of the USSR Academy Of Scientists in Moscow. The original programmer was 18-years-old Vadim Gerasimov, a student studying computer science at the Moscow University. The original commercial Tetris was a result of the joint efforts of the Moscow University computer center and Andromeda Software from London and released by Spectrum HoloByte in 1987. All this is said in the very game so don't think I made some extensive research. We all know how Tetris inspired so many game designer and resulted in countless number of clones and remakes, some new probably being made as you are reading this. What remained through all these years are the default Tetris pieces, so perfectly constructed with 4 blocks per piece. All the new pieces that were invented never seemed so lucid as the original ones or added any depth to the original gameplay.

The original Tetris is not a bad game at all. I encountered that game for the first time on Amiga 500 and it didn't really appeal to me. Maybe it was the Russian letters on the title screen. I don't remember anymore. I have the IBM-PC version only for few months now. It supports CGA and EGA graphics mode and looks rather nice in EGA mode(better graphics than in many clones). The game plays fine but maybe too fast too soon. I cannot be sure what's the game's optimum speed and if the program is able to optimize the game speed according to computer configuration. The game allows you to pick the starting level and the number of randomly filled rows in the bottom of the playfield. When a certain amount of horizontal rows is cleared the game speeds up and the background changes. The controls are rather uncommon compared with Tetris games that came after it. You play the game with the numeric keypad. 4 and 2 moves the falling piece left or right, 5 rotates it, 2 drops it and 8, which is very inconvenient, skips the level. These controls might drove away an inpatient player confused with the level skipping. What also doesn't help this game today is the fact it requires DOSBox to run on nowadays PCs. A charming point can be the communist note in the game like high scores table being entitled "Top Comrades" and the USSR references on some background images. Definitely a collectors item.


Download the original Tetris here: origtetris.zip (109 KB)

QBasic Tetris Games

QBasic Tetris games turned out to be quite a discovery in quantity as well as in originality. Definitely more than I expected to see. I've found 18 QBasic Tetris games total and few Tetris-like games. I'm pretty sure I didn't miss any game that should have been included. The number of QBasic Tetris games was a surprise to me since they are not that easy to code. Well, not easy as it's to code a Sokoban game and there isn't that many QBasic Sokoban games made(to my knowledge). This article will feature a small review of every included game accompanied with a score. The scoring system is devised especially for this article and it shouldn't be used as a reference with my other scoring systems. The games are scored with emphasis on how good and original Tetris games they are. Scores range from 1-5 and I also used tenths of a number. Since the games are listed from the lowest to the highest scores this allows me to list them more "precisely".

All uncompiled games in the list come with QBASIC.EXE and a batch file that runs the game. All the games were tested in Windows XP and they run fine without any need for shortcuts or DOS emulators. Few games require VDMSound for music or sound effects to work(those games run fine without VMDSound but silent) and I will mention in descriptions which games require that.

One game, Shayne Co's Tetris, was excluded from the article since it came with a fatal bug(the pieces don't drop by themselves). If that game worked it would get a score around 2.9 so you are not missing anything.


Ludatris

A truly bizarre game labeled by the very designer as a game not for sane people. If computer games were considered to be artworks Ludatris would be a respected piece of avant-garde. The game looks and plays very strange. Despite the highly original and hypnotic gameplay Ludatris is an extremely difficult game to play and enjoy. Wierd features like the drop key not dropping your piece but freezing it in the middle of the playfield or the random playfield movement in horizontal direction. I would render Ludatris as unplayable but I can't be 100% sure. Whatever the case is I'll stick to what Josh said - not for sane people. Ludatris doesn't feature any music or sound effects.

Developer: Josh Striblinge
Year of release: 2001
Screenshot: ludatris.gif
Download: ludatris.zip (39 KB)
Compiled: Yes
Final score: 2.1


Tetris

You might not agree with me scoring Jorden Chamid's Tetris so low but I just can't and won't fabricate my objective judgment. Jorden had an awful sense for game design(I'm basing this on his Tetris games). Both his Tetris games fail in one major way - they are so annoyingly slow-paced making them close to unplayable. Almost two seconds for a piece to drop one position and on level 2 the increase of speed is ignorable. The very screenshots might give an impression of a solid Tetris game with simple but clear graphics. I'll also mention few WAV sound effects(when you clear a row, end game, etc.) and MIDI background music(annoying). There is a certain sloppiness in the menu design but nothing serious. Still, all the positive aspects of this game become irrelevant with such a poor choice of game speed. In one sentence, playing this game feels more like a punishment than anything else.

Developer: Future Software(Jorden Chamid)
Year of release: 1997
Screenshot: tetris.gif
Download: tetris.zip (469 KB)
Compiled: Yes
Final score: 2.4


MHTris

Basing your judgment only on the screenshot you might wonder why such a low score for such a pretty looking game. Well, MHTris is one of those games which serves no other purpose but to exist and fill the designers portfolio. It looks nice(hi-res 640*480 graphics), features some silly story and flamboyant design but nothing more. MHTris' gameplay fails to contain the most important element of a Tetris game - the increase of game speed when certain amount of rows is cleared. It also doesn't feature any sort of high scores table(not even an empty one). If you are enough skilled you can play one round forever and the game will never become more challenging and exciting. It will play with the same speed constantly. This game seems like a waste of time to me. MHTris doesn't feature any music or sound effects.

Developer: MicroHuf
Year of release: 1998
Screenshot: MHTris.gif
Download: MHTris.zip (153 KB)
Compiled: Yes
Final score: 2.6


Tentris

A quite boring and uninspired Tetris game but it plays properly. Tentris is slightly too slow for my taste but not slow as Jorden Chamid's Tetris games. Tentris features some very high scores to beat. Some of the most challenging scores I've encountered doing this article.

Developer: Folker Fritz
Year of release: 2003
Screenshot: tentris.gif
Download: tentris.zip (48 KB)
Compiled: Yes
Final score: 2.8


QTetris

An interesting ASCII Tetris game featuring some strange rules which I didn't like that much. The game comes with few bugs but at least there are some high scores to beat. QTetris also features an incomplete two players mode where one player's pieces move horizontally while the other player's move vertically. Interesting but like I said, that mode is not finished and very buggish(read: unplayable). One very cool feature in this game is the piece set editor where you can create your own pieces. The game comes with few already made piece sets. I wouldn't recommend this game to people looking for a quick Tetris game. Only for curious people as well as those fixated with originality.

Developer: Belly Laugh Software
Year of release: 1997
Screenshot: qtetris.gif
Download: qtetris.zip (237 KB)
Compiled: No
Final score: 2.9


Tetris 2 - The New Blood

A very cool Teris clone introducing a new element in the gameplay - killing. While having to fill horizontal lines with blocks you can also kill the small stooges that keep falling in the playfield by slamming the Tetris pieces on them. The game features some nasty gore effects and a cool bonus related to them(blood dripping from the playfield). While the game feels very entertaining in the beginning you will soon become aware of the flaws in the gameplay. The playfield is too wide for a Tetris game so it's a bit tedious too clear a row. Also, the game doesn't speed up with time. Itís interesting to say that this is a pure QBasic 1.1 program not relying on any external graphics files and despite that the game looks very good(the movement of the stooges and the blood effects). Not something youíll play over and over but worth being checked.

A note: tetris2nb.zip includes two BAS files. TET_NEW.BAS is a slightly altered source code where I tried to slowdown the game. Have in mind that it still might run too fast on YOUR PC.

Developer: Christian Dever
Year of release: 1998
Screenshot: tetris2nb.gif
Download: tetris2nb.zip (203 KB)
Compiled: No
Final score: 2.9


Tetris 2.0

This sequel to Jorden's first Tetris game does feature several improvements but the critical flaw from the first Tetris is not fixed. Tetris 2.0 features better graphics and nicely designed menus though the graphical design of the blocks is not something I would score high(shaded with bright edges). Tetris 2.0 also features a cool 2 players simultaneous mode as well as MIDI background music and few WAV sound effects(nothing fancy but it's there). While I can appreciate the improvements and solid look of the game nothing of this can hinder the annoyingly slow gameplay.

Developer: Future Software(Jorden Chamid)
Year of release: 1998
Screenshot: tetris20.gif
Download: tetris20.zip (434 KB)
Compiled: Yes
Final score: 2.9


Stevetris

Another unimpressive Tetris clone with below average graphics and ok gameplay. This Tetris game features a bit more complex scoring but the default high scores are very easy to beat. Another flaw is that the key pressing is slightly too sensitive. Stevetris also features few sound card(non-PC Speaker) sound effects which you can hear if you run the game with VMDSound(simple but very relaxing sound effects). Running the game without VDMSound might cause certain slowdowns when you clear a row. There is a funny story behind the reasons why Steve made this game. If curious check the game out.

Developer: Steve Rosenthal
Year of release: 2002
Screenshot: stevetris.gif
Download: stevetris.zip (56 KB)
Compiled: Yes
Final score: 3


QuadBLOX

A solid Tetris game interesting because of its huge Tetris pieces and a very small playfield. I guess this adds to challenge value. No special features. Quite challenging scores to beat. Only PC Speaker sound effects but they are surprisingly pleasant.

Developer: Derek Andrews
Year of release: 2000
Screenshot: QuadBLOX.gif
Download: QuadBLOX.zip (61 KB)
Compiled: Yes
Final score: 3


Blocks

A rather odd Tetris game featuring very poor presentation and poor graphical design. It features 3 game modes, two with 4 blocks per piece(standard Tetris pieces and difficult pieces) and one with 3 blocks per piece. Blocks also allows you to change the width of the playfield, to turn on/off the bombs and to modify few other less interesting parameters. The very playfield is uncommonly high(deep). The problem of Blocks is the already mentioned poor presentation and the stupid high score system which remembers only one score(despite of different game modes and parameters that influence on the difficulty). The gameplay is ok(level-based; color of pieces changes as the levels progress). No sound effects or music.

Developer: Hamster Republic Productions
Year of release: Unknown
Screenshot: Blocks.gif
Download: Blocks.zip (45 KB)
Compiled: Yes
Final score: 3


TF Tetris

An average Tetris clone featuring MIDI background music(yuck) and one Sound Blaster sound effect. The graphics are mediocre mostly due the poor choice of colors. Mouse controlled interface. Ok gameplay. Empty high scores table. It's interesting that TF Tetris, while featuring Hall Of Fame(10 best scores), also features Hall Of Shame(10 worst scores). The question is where you will find people to fill both of them. TF Tetris plays in different colors if you run it in DOSBox but it's nothing that changes my low opinion about the graphical design.

Developer: TF Software
Year of release: 1998
Screenshot: tftetris.gif
Download: tftetris.zip (198 KB)
Compiled: Yes
Final score: 3.1


Future Blocks

An interesting Tetris game featuring huge amount of options and an AI which allows you to play against the computer(not simultaneously; higher score wins in set number of pieces). It features hi-res(640*480) but quite drab in-game graphics. Menus, on the other hand, are very cool(huge font). The problem with controllable parameters in this game is that you can change them above the playable values(for example, playfield going off the screen limits) or even to negative values(can screw up the game but not crash it). Also, I don't know what half of them does(I couldn't decipher their effect) and the game doesn't come with instructions. Other flaws are the lack of high scores table, game not speeding up with time(I didn't notice it after 40 cleared rows nor a speed variable in the source code) and the lack of sound effects and music. So I'm quite split when giving a final score to this game. It has some neat options and modes none of the other QBasic Tetris games have(like playing against the computer) while in the same time it fails to feature some crucial elements of the Tetris gameplay. If you are into games with many controllable parameters but without character get Future Blocks.

Developer: Michael Fogleman
Year of release: 2000
Screenshot: futureblocks.gif
Download: futureblocks.zip (52 KB)
Compiled: Yes
Final score: 3.1


QBasic Tetris

A nice Tetris game with not so colorful graphics(single color Tetris pieces) but well designed overall(very specific for this designer). QBasic Tetris features nice menus, instructions and a lot of options. In QBasic Tetris you can choose the starting speed of the game, complexity of the falling shapes and few more interesting parameters. I should mention that the controls donít include the down key(used when you want to speed up the falling of a piece) but only the drop key which can be a bit frustrating. If you choose to download QBasic Tetris don't expect nice graphics but a very well executed Tetris game. Empty high scores tables. The game also features PC Speaker sound effects but I doubt you'll play this game with sound effects turned on.

Developer: Dominik Kaspar
Year of release: 1998
Screenshot: QBTetris.gif
Download: QBTetris.zip (68 KB)
Compiled: Yes
Final score: 3.3


Didris

Didris is a quite original Tetris game featuring various extra elements in the classic Tetris gameplay. In Didris, similar to Tetris 2 - The New Blood, small stooges keep falling in the playfield(one by one) who you need to kill as well as prevent this helicopter to reach them. The classic objective is still there Ė clearing horizontal lines. Another feature is acid rain which you can use after certain amount of pieces is dropped and which eats away parts of the dropped pieces. Sometimes a bomb appears instead of a Tetris piece which destroys pieces around the contact zone. Very colorful design and all done without external files(pure QBasic). What lowers my overall impression is the movement of the stooge and the helicopter which is not pixel based and the lack of blood effect when you kill a stooge(funny how I consider this a flaw). Didris only features PC Speaker music(yuck) which you can, luckily, turn off. I don't understand why someone would take the trouble to compose PC Speaker music. I must be honest and say that Didris didn't get me hooked despite all the extra features. That might not be the case with you so I urge you to try out the game yourself.

Developer: Dietmar Moritz
Year of release: 1998
Screenshot: didris.gif
Download: didris.zip (91 KB)
Compiled: Yes
Final score: 3.3


QB MATRIX

Some of you might wonder why I'm scoring QB MATRIX better than, for example, QuadBLOX or QBasic Tetris but this is just a result of small details. QB MATRIX is better grapically designed than the previously mentioned games featuring really pleasent colors and nice looking Tetris pieces. Also, QB MATRIX features a very neat interface where you can keep a quite detailed track of your score. As for options QB MATRIX allows you to choose the starting level, amount of filled lines in the playfield on the very beginning and to turn on/off the slam mode. QB MATRIX only features PC Speaker sound effects and they are poor(you can turn them on/off). High scores table is included but it comes with ridicoulously easy deafult scores to beat.

Developer: Tim Truman
Year of release: 1996
Screenshot: qbmatrix.gif
Download: qbmatrix.zip (208 KB)
Compiled: No
Final score: 3.4


Textris

Textris could easily be scored with 3 by someone else. This higher score is a result of my personal(might not be very rational) likeness of the game. Textris is a simple Tetris game with the classic gameplay and average graphics. It only features poor PC Speaker sound effects. So what I like so much about this game? The simple and effective design. Textris doesn't feature any menus or a title screen. Everything is on a single screen, even the high scores table(the default table is empty). This makes Textris one of the best "quick" Tetris games in the QBasic world where you don't have to think about game parameters and similar stuff. Just one double click and you are playing a Tetris game. The constantly present high scores table is another plus. Textris has a multiplayer mode but since I don't own any kind of local or Internet connection I was unable to test it(it asks for a com port number). Textris also features mono color particle effects in the background which you can change from effects like fireworks to deep space.

Developer: Crystal Vision
Year of release: 1999
Screenshot: textris.gif
Download: textris.zip (59 KB)
Compiled: Yes
Final score: 3.4


Netris

I'll be honest and say I didn't like Netris much on the first try and originally typed in a much smaller score. The biggest reason for such impression was the psychedelic(I'm not sure how else to describe it) menu design and boring in-game backgrounds. But after a more throughout examination of the game I realized it deserves a higher score. Netris features the classic Tetris gameplay(no extra features) and the game overall is well executed. The graphics are above average(with the best looking Tetris pieces of all the QBasic Tetris games) while the sound effects are good(Sound Blaster compatible). There is also the atmospheric(but maybe not the most suitable) background music which you can hear in Windows only if you run the game with VDMSound. Netris supports IPX protocol multiplayer mode but I was unable to test it. Despite my change of original opinion to better I still feel that Netris could use a better design with a more coherent style. Netris is originally a VBDOS game but the package comes with a stripped QBasic source code. So I'm not sure how much Netris belongs to this article.

Developer: Vertical Horizons
Year of release: 1998
Screenshot: Netris.gif
Download: Netris.zip (95 KB)
Compiled: Yes
Final score: 3.8


SonicBlue's Bricks

SB's Bricks features the best graphics and graphical design of all the QBasic Tetris games. I only have one negative thing to say about the graphics and that's the awkward look of the Tetris pieces. They are without textures but feature bright and dark edges which makes them look wrong when stacked up in piles. SB's Bricks features MIDI background music but the setup file for them is horrible. You need to set the path to a specific MIDI file and set its length! Bwhat?! Stupid. Anyway, the MIDI tracks are poor as usual. While featuring very good graphics and the classic gameplay this game also offers two extra groups of pieces you can turn on/off. Funky pieces increase the game difficulty because they are hard to connect with other pieces while special pieces have some special "abilities" like ability to destroy dropped pieces or adding single block pieces onto the dropped pieces. Very original features and they add a new flavor to the classic Tetris gameplay. SB's Bricks comes with a high scores table filled with challenging scores and a save game option. I think you expected for SB's Bricks to get the highes score.

A note: I'm not sure about the year of release with this game. It seems too early to me but the only available information about the release date is the files' last date of modification.

Developer: Eric Schneider
Year of release: 1995
Screenshot: SBBricks.gif
Download: SBBricks.zip (532 KB)
Compiled: Yes
Final score: 4.1

QBasic Tetris-like Games

There are few QBasic Tetris-like games I've stumbled upon which are worth being mentioned. Some even have the word "Tetris" in the title while featuring very little of the classic Tetris gameplay. Most of them are quite interesting. I've scored these games on the same was as QBasic Tetris games with scores 1-5 but of course not with the same criteria. I've put most weight on the gameplay while scoring the following games.


Tetris 3

The designer of Tetris 3(the correct title is Tetris^3) describes this game as any other Tetris game but with one more dimension. He couldn't be more wrong. Tetris 3 has nothing of the original Tetris but the title. We could barely connect Tetris 3 gameplay with Columns. In Tetris 3 single block pieces fall into a mock-3D playfield and your goal is to connect only two of the same color(4 colors in the game). While featuring flashy but average graphics, Sound Blaster music and sound effects the gameplay is, to say at least, very poor. It's very easy to keep the playfield with no more than 1-2 blocks in it and the only thing that stops you in this is the increasing speed which makes the game impossible to play after certain amount of time. Also, there is no any sort of score in this game so you can't compete against another result(not even yours you would memorize or write down). It's just a game with a completely missed gameplay.

Developer: Vral
Year of release: 2000
Screenshot: tetris3.gif
Download: tetris3.zip (540 KB)
Compiled: Yes
Final score: 2.4


Chinese Square II

I never played the original Chinese Square so playing this game felt very odd in the beginning. Chinese Square plays similar to Tetris. Squares of various sizes fall one by one in the playfield and you need to place them on the lowest possible position. Thatís because when a falling pieces touches a previously dropped piece it turns everything under itself into a colliding zone. You need to avoid for a corner of a falling piece to touch a high and narrow colliding zone and try to place it where it will create the least amount of new colliding zone. You also have few bombs you can use to destroy the colliding zone. The gameplay is good but it lacks challenge since the default high scores are too easy to beat. The graphics are monochrome and not so good while the music is played through PC Speaker. If you are into obscure gameplays download this game.

Developer: Cheng-ning Pu (Jack)
Year of release: 1997
Screenshot: ChineseSquare2.gif
Download: ChineseSquare2.zip (62 KB)
Compiled: Yes
Final score: 3


Bricko The Challenge! ver.0.7

A rather nice hi-res(640*480) puzzle game where you slide blocks of various sizes so that as many of them fills the screen. In the very start the playfield is empty and the best thing to do then is to wait for the falling blocks to fill the screen. Very nice Sound Blaster sound effects. Very good graphics but not much of it. Bricko supports multiplayer mode via IPX connection but I was unable to test it. A high scores table is present but it's empty. The game has that "time waster" value with very relaxing gameplay. Worth being checked.

Developer: Davey Taylor
Year of release: 1999
Screenshot: bricko.gif
Download: bricko.zip (92 KB)
Compiled: Yes
Final score: 3.2


Tetris 2

Yet another game named Tetris 2 confusing us even more. Despite the unoriginal title this is a very interesting ASCII Tetris-like game. Its gameplay is more similar to Columns than to Tetris. While some pieces that fall in the playfield are the classic Tetris ones some are not. In Tetris 2 you need to connect 3 blocks of the same color horizontally or vertically(not diagonally) and the falling pieces are compiled of differently colored blocks(3 kinds of color total). There are two game modes, continuous and puzzle mode. In each mode you goal is to clear(destroy) the blocks that have two blinking squares in them. Together with blocks with blinking squares there are the regular blocks(without squares in them) and blocks with non-blinking squares in them. The falling pieces are always constructed of regular blocks. If you, for example, destroy a green block with blinking squares(connect it with two or more green blocks) all the other green blocks in the playfield with squares in them will be destroyed too. Each level in continuous mode starts with certain amount of randomly placed blocks in the playfield(usually the ones with squares and their amount depends on the level) and always with 3 blocks with blinking squares(each of every color). It's always better that you "target" the blinking blocks and try to destroy them as soon as possible. You can choose any level from 1 to 20 in continuous mode and if you finish level 20 the game continues. I don't know how many levels there is. If you lose a game the game completely ends. The high scores table for continuous mode is filled with challenging scores to beat. In puzzle mode you have to destroy all the blocks in the playfield with mere 1-3(depends on the level) falling pieces so you need to think carefully how to use them. Thus the name of the mode. You can chose to start in any level from 1 to 20 and there is 40 puzzle levels total. If you lose a game in puzzle mode you can continue unlimited number of times and there is no score in it. The challenge is in solving the level. Both these modes feature excellent gameplay and are highly entertaining to play.

The design of the game is very good despite the ASCII(text) graphics featuring nice menus, fadeouts and screen transitions. Tetris 2 doesn't feature any music or sound effects. As far as I'm concerned this game is a wonderful QBasic discovery and I recommend it to just about everybody, especially QBasic game collectors. Another excellent game for a remake. Trust me on this.

Note #1: To switch this game to full screen mode press ALT+ENTER after you run it.

Note #2: To rotate the falling piece use (,) and (-) keys(the key right from (M) key and the key left from right shift)

Note #3: The designer displays some copyright nonsense before the title screen with stuff about Tetris 2 being a registered trademark of Nintendo so it's possible that this game is a remake and all the praise I'm giving it regarding its originality might be wrong. I don't know. That's why people, when releasing a game, write some darn documentation!

Developer: Timothy Peters
Year of release: 2005 (I was surprised too)
Screenshot: tetris2.gif
Download: tetris2.zip (214 KB)
Compiled: No
Final score: 3.6

What to pick?

Some kind of summary of all these games is needed. First, you have to download SB's Bricks because it belongs to QBasic history. If you are looking for a "simple" Tetris game get Textris, QBasic Tetris or QB Matrix. Tetris 2 - The New Blood or Didris if you like original stuff, Ludatris if you like obscure games and definitely Tetris 2 because of the addictive gameplay.

Non-QBasic Tetris Games

I must say I didn't do much research on non-QBasic Tetris games but there are few games that should be mentioned.

Two Tetris games were released again by Spectrum HoloByte few years after the original.

Super Tetris was released in 1991 and it featured much improved VGA graphics and Sound Blaster music and sound effects. Super Tetris offered various game modes(single player, cooperative, ...) and the game objective was changed. In Super Tetris your goal in each level is to clear all the already present blocks on the screen. You also have bombs that help you in this. The gameplay is quite good and, by my humble opinion, better than the classic one. The only flaw I see in the game is the poor graphical design which you can notice right away by looking at the screenshots. Background images are excellent and they feature circus themes. Sound Blaster routines in this game are not very compatible with Windows and even VDMSound doesn't help. I recommend you turn the sound and music off or play the game in DOSBox.

Tetris Classic(screenshot) was released a year after and it featured the classic Tetris gameplay(the levels change as you clear certain amount of rows) and a similar number of options and modes to Super Tetris. The graphics were equally excellent and Sound Blaster music and sound effects were implemented.

Both of these games are mandatory for anyone wanting to create a respectable remake.

As for newer Tetris games I only know of Alizarin Tetris(screenshot) released in 2001 by Kiri Wagstaff and Westley Weimer as freeware. It's an excellent Tetris game featuring a respectable amount of options though I would prefer more flexibility in game modes. They are mostly restricted and based on "clearing" a level in a certain amount of time. You can play solo or against an opponent(computer or human). Alizarin Tetris only features sound effects but there is quite few sound sets available. Still, almost all of them are unsuitable for a Tetris game. Despite some of the flaws in the graphical design you should check this game if you are planning to create a 24 or 32 bit graphics Tetris game because of the wonderfully drawn Tetris pieces.

You can get all these non-QBasic Tetris games and few more at http://www.the-underdogs.org (just type in "tetris" in the site search engine).

Final Words

Wow! This is by far the biggest article I ever wrote and I doubt I'll ever write a bigger one. 31 KB of pure text. It really took more time than I expected it to take. I'm not sure I would start writing it if I knew it would be such a big cookie to swallow. But now when it's done I'm pleased with it. Sorry if the article felt monotonous but it's hard to review 17 Tetris games in one article and sound new all the time.

I hope at least one person will enjoy in some game from the article or maybe even get inspired by it and start working on the first FreeBASIC Tetris game.

Until the next article, stay among the living.

Visit my articles website: http://kentauri.digitablackie.com/articles