The constant evolution seen in video gaming technology means exciting new experiences are emerging every year. However, for a huge number of us, there is still nothing that can quite compare to hours spent on Game Boys or the SNES.
So many people have enjoyed gaming as a hobby for decades, which means it does not take much for them to get misty-eyed thinking about their first console or the game they played so much that they wore the cartridge out. Add to that the hours spent laughing and competing against friends and it is clear why people can get quite emotional thinking about their gaming past.
This level of nostalgia is undoubtedly a reason why it has become common to see classic games reimagined from time to time. Not only do revamped versions of games reach older generations on an emotional level, but they also give those gamers the chance to introduce children and younger relatives to the experiences they loved so much.
A classic trend
This trend of seeing classic games revamped for new audiences has been part of video gaming since the very beginning. For example, Space Invaders may have been released in arcades in 1978 but its simple, addictive gameplay has been reimagined on numerous occasions and on an array of platforms. The Mortal Kombat series of fighting games also had roots in arcades but then made its way on to platforms ranging from the Amiga to the Xbox One.
Another example is how Super Mario Run made Nintendo’s famous plumber a hit on mobile platforms including Apple’s iPhone, while Lara Croft is another famous name who has been reimagined for a modern audience in recent years. The trend is also not exclusive to video gaming either, with iGaming also regularly refreshing the games it offers. Betway, for example, highlights how blackjack has been adapted on several occasions, with variations including European Blackjack and Atlantic City Blackjack.
This trend of revamping and rebooting games to keep new and existing gamers engaged has now reached the classic title of Tetris – the video game that became a blockbuster in more ways than one.
How Tetris conquered the world
While it is hard to believe that Tetris needs any introduction, for the uninitiated, the puzzle game was first released in 1984 and remains hugely popular more than 30 years on.
The title was created by a Russian researcher called Alexey Pajitnov, who worked for the Soviet Academy of Sciences and allegedly created the game as a way to test new hardware. The first form of the game ran on Electronika 60, but the following year it was ported to PC and spread across the Soviet Union. By 1987, the game was being launched in North America and Europe and the rest is history.
The game became a global phenomenon and is undoubtedly one of the most popular video games of all time. Furthermore, its addictive nature even led some fans to start seeing the title’s famous falling blocks in their thoughts and dreams. Known as the Tetris Effect, the condition has inspired the name of the latest iteration of the game.
The Tetris Effect
Developed by Monstars in partnership with Resonair, Tetris Effect was released at the start of November. The game has reimagined the traditional form of Tetris by placing into a more immersive atmosphere, with ambient sounds, visuals and special effects changing in line with how you play the game.
Featuring more than 30 different stages, the title makes one particularly notable addition to the standard form of the game with the ‘Zone’ mechanic. The concept gives players the chance to essentially stop time so they can tackle difficult situations and try to prevent that dreaded Game Over moment.
Finally, while Tetris Effect can be played on a standard PlayStation 4, the minds behind it have been keen to emphasise how players can enjoy the game in 4K thanks to the PS4 Pro or get fully immersed in the blockbusting action using PS VR technology.
This new, almost trippy take on Tetris has proven to be a huge hit with critics, with some even arguing that it is the best version of the game since the original more than 30 years ago.
Despite only being released recently, it also scooped a host of awards following its appearance at the E3 trade event this year, with the likes of Polygon, IGN and Upload highlighting it as one to watch.
Furthermore, it seems to have really hit the mark with fans too, with news of a hidden level known as 1989 sparking a lot of excitement. The level transforms the game into a Game Boy version of the game, complete with the famous theme tune which has become synonymous with the title.
More to follow?
The incredible excitement and reception generated by the Tetris Effect undoubtedly means the game is a fine example of how classic titles are being successfully reimagined for modern gaming audiences and technology.
While the trend of gaming looking into its past to revamp old titles is nothing new, this game has put a new spin on the concept and it will be fascinating to see if other classics follow in its footsteps in the months and years ahead. We can’t wait to find out.