Originally created by computer engineer Alexey Pajitnov, Tetris is one of the most recognized games of all video game history. Pajitnov designed the game as a distraction while working on an Elektronika 60 computer for the Computing Centre of the Soviet Academy of Sciences.


After a process uniting a series of mathematical puzzles and diversions, Tetris’ core concept was born. He titled his creation by combining the name of his favorite sport, tennis, and “tetra”, a numerical prefix commonly used in Greek and Latin. The game’s debut was on the IBM computer, but it didn’t see widespread popularity until it launched on Nintendo’s Game Boy, having sold over 35 million copies.

Despite its vast recognition, Tetris’ royalties were claimed by the Kremlin until Pajitnov moved to the US and regained its rights in 1996. Today, over 70 million copies of the game have been sold on nearly every platform imaginable and countless freeware versions are available online. Here’s to 25 years of shape-shifting blocks and humming the Korobeiniki.