Da, comrades - despite its association with British, American and Japanese gaming giants, the global phenomenon that is Tetris was actually invented at the Moscow Academy of Science by Soviet boffin Alexey Pajitnov. Since its very first appearance in 1985, this excruciatingly addictive block-based game has, in some form or another, featured on practically every gaming platform going. Video gaming platform, that is.
Because, having recognised that a brilliant game is a brilliant game, whatever the format, games giant Radica have now brought Tetris from behind the screen and converted it into a tangible tabletop game that's just as fist-bitingly absorbing as its pixellated partner in fun.
We've all played the video game so we won't bore you with the basics, suffice to say Tetris involves manipulating falling blocks to create a solid row - and so does the fantastic Tetris 3D Tower. The difference is you get to play head to head and actually drop the blocks into the playing area. By picking them up. Manually. By yourself. With your hands.
Basically, the next piece to be dropped in is indicated by a light on the side of the tower. Players must pick the corresponding piece out of a pile, manipulate it into the position they want and then drop it into the game. Once you let go, the piece is guided down into the game by rails - a bit like dropping pieces into Connect 4. Once a line has formed you flick a switch on the side of the tower to indicate if it's your line or your opponents.
This whole videogame-come-to-life vibe is as entertaining as it is surreal - a bit like being able to stroke a Space Invader or fondle Pacman. And believe us, fumbling around for the right piece is as tense as anything you've witnessed on 24, especially when the whole brain-draining process is accompanied by a tension-building barrage of light and sound. So what are you waiting for? Get totally, tangibly Tetrisized today!
The Tetris 3D Tower requires 2 x AA Batteries (not included).
Not suitable for children under 3 years due to small parts.
Ages 8 and up.
Flashing lights and sounds.
1-2 players, play with a friend or against the machine.
I got one of those for my birthday recently and it is the most coolest toy I have to date. After a little confusion with the lights (you will take around 2 minutes to take in what to do ;) the game is so terribly addictive. Mind you, my housemate who got me this toy had this cunning way to take away my 'lines'! (The old skool habit on the gameboy!) which ended up with me leaving 'holes' in the wall to stop the madness. You just have to say 'Just one more go....'. 8/10! Craig, Norwich - 30th September 2004
I've read somewhere that these games have sensors to stop you cheating.Not bad.I might get 1! Cranium, Cyberspace - 7th September 2004