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Home / Features / Every Tetris block – reviewed

Every Tetris block – reviewed

As the puzzle classic turns 30, we put the seven Tetriminos to the ultimate test

There are few harder-working shapes in the world than the seven Tetriminos that make up Tetris.

In the 30 years since Soviet programmer Alexey Pajitnov created Tetris on an Elektronika 60, it’s been played on pretty much anything with buttons. But which is the best block?

1. The J piece

The J is a creative workhorse – like England midfielder James Milner, but smaller and more angular. It has decent attacking ability, slipping into tight gaps and regularly scoring three-liners. But its shape also makes it a good defensive performer, able to fit neatly into corners and providing a decent platform from which to build.

Stuff says ✭✭✭

2. The L piece

Does pretty much the same work as the J, but from the other side of the field.

Stuff says ✭✭✭

3. The S piece

A superbly creative block which regularly holds the key to a good score. Can be difficult to work with defensively though.

Stuff says ✭✭✭

4. The T piece

The most underrated block in the game, the T can do anything you ask of it. Its rotational abilities give it a flexibility that the other pieces just can’t compete with and it rarely lets the side down. Other blocks want to be it, or sleep with it, or both.

Stuff says ✭✭✭

5. The Z piece

A waste of space, put on this Earth by Satan to increase our blood pressure. All it takes is three of these hell-spawns in quick succession to ruin your delicate, lovingly crafted foundations. It’s the mosquito of Tetris, and we take great satisfaction in swatting it away with well-placed lines.

Stuff says

6. The O piece

The boiled potato of the Tetris world: you’re never unhappy to see them, but after the 10th one in a row you’re desperate for chips.

Stuff says

Tetris - the ultimate review

7. The I piece

The brash, arrogant glory-seeking star of the game. The only piece capable of scoring a Tetris, but also the one that’s most likely to go missing for minutes on end as soon as you build a perfect one-square channel for it. It’s probably off signing bras or something.

Stuff says ✭✭✭✭✩

Profile image of Marc McLaren Marc McLaren Contributor


Marc was until fairly recently Editor of Stuff.tv, but now edits a site about cars instead. He has been a committed geek since getting a Tomytronic 3D aged seven, and a journalist since the week that Google was founded (really). He spends much of his free time taking photos of really small things (bugs, flowers, his daughters) or really big things (galaxies and the like through a telescope) and losing games of FIFA and Pro Evo online. You can email Marc at [email protected]

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