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Tetris is one of the most well-known videogames of all time, selling a whopping 170 million copies since its release in 1984. Only Minecraft can top that. Even if you’re not a gamer, chances are you’ve played a round or two in your time, and you might even be able to hum the iconic music off the top of your head.
So it’s no surprise that the classic block-arranging puzzler would make its way to iOS. But this latest version is significant as it represents a change of the guard for Tetris. Until recently, the rights to the gaming franchise belonged to EA, but last year The Tetris Company signed a multi-year deal with production company N3TWORK, giving it sole control of the Tetris name.
That means EA’s existing mobile efforts, like the IAP-heavy Tetris Blitz, will stop working later this year. In the meantime, N3TWORK has released its version of the game, a delightful throwback to simpler times before virtual currency and wait timers made freemium gaming so miserable.
This new version is back-to-basics vanilla Tetris; the graphics may be different, but the gameplay is more on less unchanged from the 80s version. Some players might miss the over-the-top bells and whistles of Tetris Blitz, but many more will be pleased to just play good old-fashioned classic Tetris again. Here, you get two choices: play for free with a few ads, or pay a one-off $5/£5 fee to ditch the ads forever. In EA’s version, five bucks would only grant a handful of virtual coins.
If you’re nostalgic for the original Tetris, this is the closest you’re gonna get. If you’re after something a little more futuristic, you’ll be pleased to know that an experimental augmented reality Tetris-alike (Tetrominos AR) also just dropped onto the App Store for $1/£1.