Today marks the 30th anniversary of the iconic building block puzzle game Tetris, one of the most recognized video games of all time. It’s a household name alongside other classics like Pong and Super Mario Bros. in many parts of the world that was even recently proven to have some positive effects on losing weight and quitting smoking / drinking.
The game, designed and programmed by Alexey Pajitnov, was released on June 6, 1984, in Russia. It managed to sell more than two million copies before ever arriving on Nintendo’s Game Boy.
As Pajitnov told Time in a recent interview, he convinced Nintendo of America CEO, Minoru Arakawa, to include Tetris as the bundle title when the Game Boy launched in 1989. To get the executive hip to the idea, Pajitnov told him that if he wanted little boys to buy the machine then include Mario, but if he wanted everyone to buy it, include Tetris. The rest, as they say, is history.
Although Super Mario Land was a great game, most people would agree that Tetris made the Game Boy and the Game Boy made Tetris.
True enough, I had more fun playing Tetris than any other Game Boy title. Perhaps the best times were had when linking two handhelds together via Game Link Cable for versus play. This was one of the earliest multiplayer gaming experiences available and it was immensely fun.
Tetris went on to sell hundreds of millions of products across more than 50 platforms and is the best-selling title in video game history by a wide margin.