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Tetris is undeniably a classic. Sometimes that word is far too overused but in this case it is. It is a game that has withstood the turning of the decade and over a generation. Its repetitive electro tune is as annoying as it is addictive which is probably a good catalyst for the game.
There are three different game modes that you can choose from. These include Marathon which as you can tell is a lengthy, in fact non-ending, option where the aim is to eliminate as many rows as possible for as long as you can survive. What makes this level particularly tricky though is that the longer you survive and the higher the points rise the faster the tiles fall which inevitably makes it even more difficult. Another level is Ultra where you play within a time restraint which is usually 3 minutes and basically complete the game and remove as many rows as you can before the time runs out. A further game mode is the aptly named 40 Lines which is where as you can definitely tell is to just remove 40 lines in as fast a time as possible.
Tetris is a tile matching puzzle game where the objective is to delete rows of tiles (irrespective of whatever colour they are unlike in some games) in horizontal lines. To do so you must fully complete the line without any gaps and should you fail to do so the tower shape creeps up and up until it reaches the top of the screen by which time a huge GAME OVER sign will cross the middle of the page. It sounds very simple and perhaps a little boring for the modern day where people like to play more complex and challenging but don't be so quick to overlook a game like this. There is always moments when you have time to kill and there's no better way to do it than to open up Tetris on whatever medium you have (in this case on you computer) and hopefully beat your own or another's high score.
Perhaps what makes the game so addictive is its simplicity. If you fail to beat your score by a tiny margin you convince yourself that if only you try ONE more time of course you'll beat it. So when that comes and goes you try again and again all the time confident you were so close and should just try again. I know that if I'm waiting at the bus stop or for someone to meet me at a particular time its always a fun and enjoyable way to kill time as I do so. Its not exactly the most challenging game but the frustration it brings out is good fun and always makes for a lot of competition if you compare with other people - which is what makes games a little more entertaining in my opinion.
One enjoyable aspect of the game that I've enjoyed evolve over time is its use of colour. Beforehand it was much more bland and this change makes it at least a little more visually compelling for what is arguably a pretty basic game (well there isn't even much of an argument there). While I wouldn't say this makes it really great for children as some parents would be wary of letting their children play too many video games or perhaps one so non-enriching as this, it does definitely make it more inviting and like I said a little easier to stand as there is at least some variety.
Overall this is an excellent game that I would recommend. While not exactly innovating or really out there it is humble in its pure basicness which is what makes it so great. A fun way to kill time in an addictive and frustrating way that I'm sure would hook even the biggest haters of computer games, it is also very cheap and accessible to people of all ages and abilities. The game suits pretty much all mediums (although is a bit awkward on a touch phone in my experience) and despite the thumb ache I get if I play a little too long is always rewarding to see your name top the list of people you know which offers excellent bragging rights. As you can tell its a good way to be a little childish and a fun way to do so as well.
Tetris is one of those games which has justifiably earned the accolade of being a traditional "classic"........one of those games which we remember playing in our childhood on our Gameboy and yet we still relish the opportunity to play Tetris online now that we are old enough to have children of our own. Or at least I do! One of my guilty pleasures is going online and playing Tetris, recently something which I have been doing via Facebook.
Tetris basically involves manipulating Tetrominoes in such a way as they amalgamate to form a straight line across the screen. Each Tetromine is made up of four units which are combined to form a variety of shapes. As the shapes fall randomly from the top middle of the screen, the player uses the arrow keys to turn the shape so that it falls onto the bottom rows in the most advantageous manner. Once a line has been completed horizontally, the line disappears and the player scores points. It is possible to make up to four lines disappear at one time with one Tetromine hit.
As the game progresses and lines are cleared, the player moves up through various levels in which the concept stays the same, but the tetrominoes are dropped at increasingly quick speeds so that the player has less time to decide how and where to drop the tetromine, as well as to actually carry out the manoevere chosen. The game ends when the lines of tetrominoes reaches then top of the screen and so there is no space for further tetrominoes to drop.
The game is uncomplicated and repetitive but also strangely addictive. Of course, with the onslaught of highly technical games consoles now on the market, the games have also got more sophisticated. But being more sophisticated doesn't have to mean better, and in my experience, simple concepts are often the best. Infact there are more complex versions of the game which are now available, but I tend to prefer the original Gameboy-esque version - although I do now play it on my laptop. I have to say that the element of the game which I find addictive is trying to reach a level higher to where I have reached before - and so for me, points themselves are largely irrelevant.
So, all in all, I like this game because it is something in can play without having to think too much and, in a way, it sends me into a kind of trance which I find relaxing. It can be played by all ages and all abilities - and its just good, honest, clean fun. Recommended!
Tetris has been around since 1985 and was created by
Alexey Pazhitnov who was inspired by the Pentominoes game. The game spread to Moscow and then to Hungary...before long it became a world wide favourite.
In 1989 Nintendo's version of Tetris for the NES was released. About 3 million copies were sold in America. Soon Tetris was being played on Gameboys around the world. (I remember playing it as a child!)
WHAT IS IT?
Tetris uses some of the pentominoes pieces which float down and sit on top of each other to create a tower. The goal is to keep clearing "lines" (creating a line without spaces) and go through all the levels. Each time you go up a level, the speed increases.
This game has a simple idea around it, just rotate the pieces to fit together and break down the tower. Yet, it is incredibly addictive and that is probably why it is still around today.
I played this game almost everyday during my pregancy (I suffered from Hyperemesis and so was bed ridden) and I even played it between contractions while I was in labour! (lol) It is so mind numbing and easy to play, yet frustrating when the pieces fall stupidly fast. There are a whole host of different versions to play now. My favourite is on tetrisfriends.co.uk which has a variety of games in flash...you can also play against other people or just have a 2 minute time limit to clear as many lines as possible.
This game is fab! It is exactly as the description says: Classic, addictive puzzler.
One for all to play.
Made in 1984, Tetris was designed and created by a Russian computer programmer by the name of Alexey Pajitnov, and has since been ported to every games platform imaginable, selling over 70 millons copies worldwide and remaining as popular as ever. The gameplay is a simple case of slotting descending block-groupings of different shapes together so that they create unbroken horizontal lines of individual blocks, at which point the horizontal lines of individual blocks disappear, making room for yet further blocks which are endlessly falling down from above.
The block-groupings come in a number of different shapes all consisting of four individual blocks, and can be rotated around to better fit in and then dropped into place, whilst a little box at the side of the screen keeps you informed of what block shape you are going to get next. Blocks must be gotten rid of as soon as possible, and you lose if you allow the blocks to build up to touch the ceiling where the block shapes are falling from, with each new level upping the difficulty a little by making the blocks fall a little faster, requiring you to speed up your thinking and reaction times accordingly.
And that's it. The visuals are colourful but functional and the sound is minimal, but Tetris manages to be only slightly less addictive than crack by tapping into instinctive human behaviours of pattern-forming and constructive development. It is easy to pick up but very difficult to put down, and is almost certainly good for the brain, if not the eyes. There have been many versions produced over the years but this PC port offers the original, definitive version, and remains great fun for players of all ages, and will remain so for the next few thousand years, assuming we are around that long.
In today's society we abuse superlatives, we call even the most ordinary of albums "Classics" and with some video games actually selling as part of a "Classics" range it's no wonder the word has been devauled in recent times. Pop albums are described on a regular basis as being a classic before their release, not after they've gone on to long lasting appeal or broken down the barriers of something. Albums like "Thriller" which set a bench mark for all to follow are well deserving of the title of classic but many more recent albums aren't. The same is the case in the video game world, of course some games are all time classics like "Mario Brothers", "Sonic The Hedgehog" and "Goldeneye", despite their age they either raised the bar, or were such an enjoyment to play that their longevity is still being felt today.
Well possible the biggest gaming "Classic" is Tetris, the puzzle game that helped set the stage for the Game Boy to be the biggest selling console of all time and helped while away hours in the car or train back in the day of black and white mobile gaming. What is little known is that the creator received little to no money for it, Alexey Pajitnov was living under soviet rules and the project become property of the USSR and communism. This therefore makes it one of the most profitable items ever to have come from some one who didn't earn from their invention, much like the hinge (the biggest selling none copyright item in the world apparently).
The game is based on controlling random Tetrominoes (shapes made of 4 pieces) to create lines horizontally across the screen. With pieces falling from the top of the screen, the players aim is to last as long as possible before the screen fills to the top, with each line they successfully make being deleted and awarded points for completing. A simple concept but one that is oddly addictive, a challenge in setting the highest scores you possibly can and advancing on to the next level (in which the game becomes progressively faster). A game play that is simple and even quite intuitive on the Game boy (left and right control the falling shapes, the A and B buttons rotate them) lead this to selling over 70,000,000 copies and being proclaimed the Greatest Video Game Ever by Electronic Gaming Monthly's and the second best by IGN. Not bad going for a load of old blocks.
What the gamer experiences is a challenge, but a fun one, something many similar games seemed unable to match until the Bust-A-Move series on the PSX finally caught the imagination in the home entertainment systems. Games such as Columns on the Sega Mega Drive (amongst other consoles) just lacked that magic, the ingredient of fun that Tetris managed to have. Though what Tetris also managed was to have a drug like addictive quality to it, in car journey's that would often see parents bugged by an impatient child asking "are we there yet?" was turned into "mum can we stop at a garage for more battery's? My Game Boy has just died". Car journeys for us become became littered with simple 8 bit music that became almost as addictive as the game it's self, so for the driver it could be a nightmare and often lead to the radio being turned up. This was often the best a young boy could have to play with himself back in the days before wifi enabled portable internet gaming and MP3 players.
In more recent years the Tetris Company has been set up (1996) so that the creator has managed to earn something out of it, though sadly for him the years of the Game boy are long gone, and with more complex games coming out on the PSP and DS with Tetris clones seemingly being given away as mobile games or games on music players, the ship may well have sailed. The company how ever do fiercely defend the Tetris name from obvious products that bare a similar name.
The game has been studied for neurological effects and several have been found including one where it is said to make the brain more efficient as players develop the need to use less glucose the more they play it. The most infamous one however is "The Tetris Effect" in which players see the shapes falling front of their face with out actually playing the game at the time, a rather worrying if only short side effect of the game. The Tetris effect could well be seen as the Tetris players version of Dartitis or the "Yips" in golf. Some people end up massively addicted to the game, like my EX gilfriend who pretty much ignored everyone to play a version of the game, despite not liking playing games on the whole.
In more recent versions of the game colour has been added to what was originally a monotone environment, with new releases and changes to the system always trying to tweak it to make the game perfect none are as effective and addictive at being playable as the original. A game that with out a doubt helped to the huge global success of the Game Boy and of Nintendo as a company and is very fairly entitled "A classic", don't get this mixed up with the over hyped nonsense of games like Halo.
Tetris. An all time classic to describe it simply. However, for those of you who have never heard / played of it, firstly, shame on you! Where have you been? But secondly, read this review to understand the phenomenon that is tetris.
~~ What is tetris? ~~
As my title says, tetris is a game based on quadominoes, which in everyday terms are 4 little squares joined in arrangements to form blocks of 4. These can be in a 2 x 2 square, 4 in a row, an L shape or a strange little shape with two rows, offset by one block.
The objective of the game is to control these shapes which descend from the top of the screen to the bottom in such a way to form solid rows right across the screen, which will then disappear and score points as a result. However, just one gap in the row allows the blocks to pile up and should any blocks touch the top of the screen, then its the dreaded game over.
The shapes can be controlled by moving them left or right, or by rotating them to fit into the holes you have created. Also, for those wishing to score more highly, they can be made to descend faster, and the earlier you make the block descend faster, the more points it is worth.
~~ More about Tetris ~~
Tetris has become a classic, in my opinion due to its simplicity and the fact anyone can play it. On the PC, which is where most people play now-a-days, controls are so simple, and most of the time, left and right move it.... you guessed, left and right, down makes it descend faster, and up is used to rotate blocks.
However, another aspect of tetris which makes it successful is the varying levels. At the start of the game, you start at level 1, which sees blocks descend slowly giving you more thinking time, however as you progress, and with possibly mounting blocks of incomplete rows, the blocks descend faster and faster, making you react quicker and quicker, which is a challenge for any gamer.
Scoring is the other element that appeals, as it brings you back again and again to try and improve your personal best, and also, makes it a lot more fun for people, as knocking out multiple rows at once is riskier, but it scores higher.
~~ Recommended? Take a guess ~~
I would thorughly recommend this game to anyone, who either hasn't played it, or hasn't played it in a long time. It is, in my opinion sheer brilliant and will be one of very few games that lasts for an eternity.
~~ Want the best link for the game? ~~
I would recommend on a side note
as it offers a built in scoring system, but most importantly, it offers a PAUSE option. I think with tetris this is essential, as if you get distracted, you all of a sudden face a mountain of blocks, and by the time you're digging out of the hole it's game over.
Simply a 5* game
Tetris is one of the all time classic games. It won many people's hearts with it's addictive, genre defining gameplay and it's (at the time) originality. The aim of the game is to line up as many different shaped pieces as possible in order to clear various rows of the grid, and earn as many points in the process. Players are constantly striving for the 999999 points mark in which the game no longer has any more levels to advance to or points to gain, but still continues to play regardless!
In my opinion this game is the most fun of all of the Tetris games, because it isn't overcomplicated and is extremely easy to pick up and play. The graphics and the sounds are hugely outdated, with the graphics still being simple black and white and the sounds nothing but beeps. However, it is still just as playable as any other Gameboy game out there.
Whilst many of the newer Tetris games have suffered from becoming overcomplicated, with more emphasis being put on Timed modes and puzzle modes, this game doesn't suffer from this. It is really, really simple, and what's better it is available extremely cheaply especially on eBay. The game, despite it's age, even features a 2 player mode in which players must try to score as many points as possible.
Overall this is a truly great game, and anyone who calls themselves a fan of the Gameboy or a fan of puzzle games should be ashamed if they do not own a copy.
I admit to being a little scared when it comes to computer games. I am not the most adventurous of players and like either very complex thinking games or very simple games that you get better at gradually. Tetris is one of the latter.
Its a grid game and the best way to explain it is that pieces of different shapes tumble from the top of the screen towards the bottom. These are T shaped, L shaped, square shaped, and I shaped and the idea is that the player has the ability to rotate the pieces in order to fit into neat complete lines at the bottom of the screen. Sounds pretty basic doesn't it. Well it is to a certain degree, but if you want to get high scores, then making three or four lines in one hit gives you better scores, though is risky. As the lines work their way towards the top of the screen, so your margin of error becomes smaller, and if you are not attentative to what is going on, believe me, the mountain of pieces becomes bigger, and there really is no chance of high scores if you let the pieces pile up without making sensible lines out of them.
What I like about the game is its simplicity, and when you have a very active mind, it actually helps you to switch off. I play the game frequently, and after obtaining a certain degree of accuracy with where you put the pieces, you get quite good at it, and progress through the different levels of the game to levels which run faster and make your concentration on them imperative. Look away for a moment on one of the harder levels and you can easily mess up the whole flow of the game.
The layout of the game is easy, and I like the fact that there are options on the version that I have that allow you to change the colour of the blocks from time to time. I like the option of speeds too, because sometimes I am a slug and want to play an easy game and at other times, I want to be challenged. All n all, Tetris is a classic game for those that want to unwind and is probably the only form of relaxation I know that works for me. Available to download free from the Internet, there are many versions that can be found at Download.com, for free, although I paid a few pounds for mine because I wanted the enhancements of a more presentable game and thought that the small cost was worth it.
It also takes very little disc space which is good news for people that don't have a huge capacity available to them. If you want to try the game online before you buy, there are many sites where you can play the game and get the hang of it, simply by typing into your search engine the words "play Tetris online" and letting them do the work for you.
As for its lasting ability, now here I would say it is better than most games, in that I have played this game for the last 15 years since before even owning a PC, my original version being on a Commodore 64, and equally as playable although not as good on the graphics front as the game I have now.
As classics go, this really is one of the originals and one that was made to pass the test of time. One of the options that I find the most helpful is being able to chose if I want to listen to the music with the game or not, as for me I would prefer to play the game in silence. As for difficulty and complexity, I believe that is down to the player to chose which is one of the great things about this game and one that makes each adventure into it a new experience.
Turn your head away from the screen for a few minutes though and you may be in deep water, as the concentration level required at the higher levels is astounding. Believe me, I have killed many hours trying to beat my own high score, and one useful pointer here is that even if you, yourself are not a games person, it is worth having the program as a distraction when you have visitors with children, who easily get bored with adult conversation, although a warning I would make here is that children's minds are quicker than older minds, and you are in danger of getting your high score whacked if you let them loose with this all time favourite.
A super game.
Play it. It's addictive,fun and challenging.
Play it. It's addictive and fun and challenging.
Those crazy Russians, what will they think of next? Well not Tetris as this hugely popular video game has already been created by Alexey Pazhitnov in 1985 and became famous for its simplistic enjoyment, frustratingly difficult levels and expensive court battles.
If you are interested in the history of the game and its subsequent lawsuits, you can read it all at: http://www.atarihq.com/tsr/special/tetrishist.html, but this website doesnt include the phone call made on the eve of Mr. Pazhitnovs epiphany, which was thankfully recorded by Russian spies or something like that. (I dont know do I? Its only pretend anyway)
- Hello Boris, its Alexey.
- Alexey, its 3am, Russian time, why are you ringing me?
- I just had this idea of how to make the most popular video game in the world!
- A video game? You mean one of them quite new things like the the Pac Man and the Invaders of Space?
- Yes, its based on these blocks that you move to make lines that are then destroyed. I could call it Tetris, but with a backwards R because its Russian, but we can sell it to the Americans and other
- Look, I love you but Ive got work in the morning, this isnt a good time.
- Its never a bloody good time is it Boris?
- No, I didnt mean Alexey, are you still there?... He never listens to me.
The basic Tetris game revolves around different shapes comprised of four blocks each (there are six combinations) which fall one by one into the game arena. The player guides the shape to its desired location and attempts to fuse as many shapes as possible without leaving any gaps between them. Each time a horizontal line of blocks is completed from the left to right of the screen, this line is obliterated and the pieces above all fall down by one. Thats it.
 Just a square really
In the usual game, left and right on the keyboard, joystick or arcade joystick (if you are a bit old) move the shapes left and right during their gravity-fuelled descent; pressing up (or occasionally the fire button) rotates the piece clockwise by ninety degrees and pressing down speeds up the descent once you have chosen the landing site.
WHATS THE POINT?
I love retro games, but I am strangely a newcomer to Tetris. Previously the official order of goodness went: PacMan, DigDug, Frogger, Scramble. The popularity of Tetris is a little odd considering there isnt much to it (and it only becomes more challenging by increasing the speed), but it is very addictive. Tetris is also quick to play and lose, so it can provide a nice opportunity for some cheap online thrills.
Its not one of my favourite games though, dont be stupid. The Secret of Monkey Island and Diablo II wee all over this Russian gravity-based puzzle, but do require a bit more effort that I cant always be bothered to expend.
As Tetris is the most widely played video game ever created (even more than Mister Robot Speak & Spell on the Amiga, although that is quite a bad example) there have been a predictably huge number of variants created over time. Wormtris has always been my favourite, a completely unsolicited game by some Dutch guy with an Amiga 1200, although Strip Tetris has recently caught my attention at striptetris.co.uk. Because I like the blocks and stuff though and thats all, I think theres a picture at the side that gets filled in as you play or something but I wasnt really interested in that. (Not until level 4 anyway. Go and try it- oh, you already are). I wish I had a basic grasp of game programming so I could create and popularise Strip DigDug, Strip Ms PacMan (my favourite) and Strip Mister Robot Speak and Spell but I cant be bothered to learn.
Here are some online Tetris games that dont need to be downloaded. Ive used a couple myself, but the others are just there for some variety (although the only real variety involves adding music and making the I piece start vertically instead of horizontally).
http://www.miniclip.com/tetris.htm - I hate the Miniclip site, I really do (reminds me of the kind of people in school who really like sites like that). Still, it has an OK Tetris game with music.
http://www.addictinggames.com/tetris.html - a bit basic, but it has a Russian backdrop. Annoying sound effects though.
http://www.ebaumsworld.com/tetris.html - I quite like this one, its a bit basic but has a clinical feel. Like playing Tetris in a hospital.
http://www.dynamicdrive.com/dynamicindex12/tet2.htm - as simple as it gets no music, no sounds and not even any gravity.
www.striptetris.co.uk - or just click on the link you put in your favourites menu.
If anyone knows of any other interesting Tetris games (free ones; I am not mad) please tell me and Ill check them out. Wormtris was the first I played and is still by far my favourite, the extra options and introduction of worms/sheep making it all the more enjoyable. Amigans rule, as my Dad would say.
Tetris has been around for many years and newer versions are even made. Its a game for all the family and has been made for a few consoles. A Russian guy invented this game back in the 80's. There is two games in tetris. Firstly theres game A and also game B. Each game you are giving different shapes and have to complete a line of rows at the bottom of the screen. The shapes are things like a square and a straight line. You can turn your shapes right and left so that they can squeeze into gaps. Game A is where you have to complete 25 lines to proceed to the next round. You can start between level 0 and level 9. If you start on level 0 the bricks fall very slowly and if you start on level 9 they fall fast. After level 9 the game just keeps going and going. Game B is where you have to complete 25 lines to complete the level. Again you can start between level 0 and level 9 but 9 is as far as it goes. You are giving an ending sequence after completeing a level. Also in game B you can on different difficultys. What happens is that if you play on a harder difficulty, loads of bricks are scattered all around the screen when you start to play. The graphics are ok but not anything exciting, the tunes are excellent as theres a few tunes to choose from and has sound effects too, the gameplay is excellent as some people still play this game after so many years.
I have recently told you all about my addictions to Mah Jongg and to Solitaire so I thought that I had better complete my own personal trilogy by telling you about Tetris! Over the years I have tried various all singing all dancing versions of the game Tetris from Tetrimania on the PC to the Playstation version, but I always come back to my favourite – the basic Tetris. For those of you who don’t know I will try and put into words what the game of Tetris involves. This is not going to be easy. The playing area of the game measures ten blocks wide by 20 blocks deep and is blank to begin the game. Shapes appear at the top of the screen and drop slowly, to begin with, to the bottom. These shapes are all 4 blocks in size, but are of varying shapes, more about this later. The idea is to manoeuvre the shapes so that they interlock and make complete lines across the bottom of the playing area. Each line that is complete disappears and the player scores 100 points. The game finishes when the blocks are stacked so high that they touch the top of the playing area without any further lines disappearing. The higher the score at this stage the better. If that is clear enough for you to understand, which I hope it is, it will sound relatively simple to you, but there are complications. Firstly I’ll tell you about the various shapes which, as I say, are all four blocks in area. 1. A straight line of four blocks coloured red. 2. A square of four blocks coloured pale blue. 3. A T shape of four blocks, three wide with the fourth under the middle one of the three, coloured grey. 4. An L shape with three blocks in a line and the remaining one to the right of the bottom block, coloured yellow. 5. An L shape with three blocks in a line and the remaining one to the left of the bottom block, coloured pink. 6. A Z shape with two sets of two blocks one on top of the other offset in the shape
of a letter Z, coloured green. 7. A Z shape with two sets of two blocks one on top of the other offset in the shape of a reversed letter Z, coloured royal blue. These shapes appear randomly at the top of the playing area. The arrow keys are then used in the following way: 1. UP – this key will rotate the shape through 90 degrees. 2. LEFT – this key will move the shape to the left. 3. RIGHT – this key will move the shape to the right. 4. DOWN – this key will drop the piece directly to the lowest available point on the playing area without either rotating it or moving it to the left or right. N.B. You can rotate and/or move to the left or right as the piece is dropping and then press the ‘down’ key once it is lined up correctly. Each shape scores as it reaches the lowest available point on the playing area. If the down arrow is used the score will be increased in proportion to how far the piece had been dropped. If the shape is rotated the score reduces each time this is done. When a player completes a row of ten blocks across the entire playing area the row disappears and the player scores 100 points. If the player completes more than one line at a time the scoring increases dramatically. Two rows at a time will score 200 points, three rows will score 400 points and 4 rows will score 800 points. As the player completes more and more rows the game moves up to the next level, which means that pieces fall faster (when falling naturally). There are levels from one to ten and by the time you reach level ten, which I do occasionally, the pieces drop as fast as if you’d pressed the down arrow! The game also holds a high score table so you can keep track of how you’re improving. My current highest score is 20,977. There are other features of the game to make it more easy, difficult or interesting, depending on your point of
view. In the options menu there is a setting called piece preview. This means that the piece that is going to appear after the current one has landed is shown off the playing area in a box on the score panel. This enables you to make a more informed decision about where to place the current piece. The use of this feature dramatically reduces your score. There is also a skill menu which gives you the option of starting at any level from one to ten, although I don’t think you’d get much of a score if you started at level ten! It also gives the option of starting with a number of rows, either 0, 1, 3, 5, 7 or 9, partially complete. This would make the game more interesting as you would be at a disadvantage right from the start and would have work your way down the incomplete rows, filling in the gaps and thus getting rid of the newly completed rows. There is a pause feature just in case the telephone rings as you are approaching a high score! As I said at the beginning of the opinion, I have tried other versions but this one will always be my favourite!