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Tetris for Windows, or Wintris as it is commonly called, is a classic Tetris game for Windows. Dave Edson took the famous game invented by our Russian hero Alexey Pajitnov and created a version for Windows. In 1990, Microsoft distributed this Tetris game as part of its Windows Entertainment Package. It has since become one of the more popular classic versions of the game.

Some features of Wintris:

  • 10 different levels of difficulty (different speeds of falling blocks), progressing as you fill in lines from level 1, a level your mother could play at, all the way to level 10, a level that challenges even most elite players.
  • Optional next piece preview allows you to know the Tetromino that is coming next so you can properly prepare in advance. As a Tetris purist, I frown on this feature because I feel you should be able to stack your blocks in such a way that you are prepared for anything that the Tetris gods throw at you next.
  • High scores. Not only can you enter your name on the high score list, you may also leave your very own boastful comment to amuse yourself and irritate your competitors. For example, if you get the #1 high score, you could leave the comment "#1 Tetris Master" This is dangerous, however, because if someone beats your high score, your comment does not quite have the same effect and you come off sounding like a dweeb or a twerp.
  • 2 player mode, allowing the socially inept geeks (or nerds, for the politically correct) among us the occasion to interact with other more normal people who happen to like Tetris. (geek: Hey you wanna play some Tetris? normal person: OK sure.) In 2 player mode, if one player fills in 2 or more lines, random blocks appear at the bottom of the other player's stack. Filling 4 lines at a time (called a Tetris) can be especially crippling to the opponent. The loser is the one whose stack reaches the top first. (Unfortunately, the geek will almost always win, and typically the normal person will exclaim to the geek something along the lines of "You're such a geek!")
  • Scoring bug. There is a scoring bug in Wintris, but it only adds to the charm of the game. If you are a really good player (better than Dave Edson) and your score reaches 32,768, it will wrap around to -32,768 and climb again. I shall not tell you, dear reader, what happens when you reach 0 again, for this rightfully must remain a secret of the Tetris brotherhood.

How does such an old version of Tetris remain so popular when there are so many other newer versions with special features, cool graphics, and way out techno music? The answer is in the question. Wintris has a certain refreshing simplicity not found in newer versions. The pieces rotate as you expect them to, there are no gimmicks such as special non-Tetromino polyominoes that are larger than 4 blocks, there are no "exploding bombs" or other silly ideas that are added to the game to make it more "fun" but only mess it up. There are other great Tetris games out there, and I wish Dave Edson would have added some traditional Russian music to this version like in some of the other games, but as games go for MSWindows the choice is clear. Call me a Tetris bigot, but Wintris remains true to the original almost magically simple concept of falling blocks, and does so in an elegant way that can not be matched by glitzy imitations.

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