Whenever someone brings up the story on how they got their first Nintendo console, you either get the “I got it for Christmas” version or the “I got it for my Birthday” version, most of them enveloped in beautiful memories and sleepless nights with the newest Super Mario, Zelda or Metroid games. Me and my family? Nah…
My parents were a bit weird, they didn’t get it for us, they got hooked up on to the console at our yearly family gathering in Germany, where they got drunk with my uncle and played some random games until midnight, so they finally bought the console for themselves. Most of the time it was stored in their smoke filled bedroom paired with a Sony CRT, so me and my brother would rarely play with it.
My first encounter with the console was one evening when the screams of my father woke me up, which lead me to their bedroom, where I didn’t create a normal childhood trauma like catching your parents having sex, no, I saw these grown ups fight over a game.
At that point my father yelled “Ana, even a kid could finish that level!”. And, long story short, that night I ended up learning how to play that damn game, and you can already guess it from the title, it was Tetris. Not any version of it, but the Tengen Tetris. So, I got also hooked up.
Combine cigars, alcohol and home made food – and you have yourself a night of entertainment for adults
The thing is, you can’t tell me that that wasn’t weird. You had two grownups, a policeman and a seamstress (who never, ever, in their whole life – owned a console or a computer) organizing drinking nights, which evolved around a Nintendo game, in a small town in Ex-Yugoslavia where most of the households didn’t even own a proper TV.
But, I didn’t say anything (I mean, even if I did, I was a kid, cigarettes are healthy, alcohol cures diseases etc… You know the drill, I basically had no power there). It was fun though, I can’t say that it wasn’t. I would usually show the “new players” how to play the game, since a kid could do it, why wouldn’t an adult be capable in at least clearing the first level of the game. In return, I would get my glass of Fanta or Cola and around 8 PM go off to my room. After a while, I couldn’t go to bed without hearing that damn Troika dancing around in my head, but yeah, as I said, was fun.
Back then, same as today, the point of the game is to gather as much points as you can, with 4 bonuses at the end of each round; called Singles, Doubles, Triples and Tetris. with each of them representing the amount of lines which you cleared, with Singles being the lowest one, and Tetris being the highest one – four cleared lines at once. In return, you would get more bonus points and, thus, a higher score at the end.
Now, why do I still remember it, although I didn’t play the game since then?
Well, that drinking game evolved heavily around the bonus points and who got how many lines, so yelling TETRIS was a thing, and, as I said, I don’t remember it clearly, but I had some sleepless nights because I could hear them yelling every goddam minute.
This was back in the early 90’s, and now, almost 30 years later, there is this new game on the block (see what I did there?) called Tetris Effect. As the newest version of the game, it doesn’t only offer a revamped interface, but also some new features, with one of them being a new set of bonuses given at the end of the match.
So, what is bigger then Tetris? Meet the Decahexatris
The trailer above can show you how the game will look like, it’s coming out in Fall this year, but what it doesn’t explain is the new “Zone” feature. Basically, by actively clearing lines, you’re filling up the Zone in your left lower corner, once you filled it far enough, you can activate “the Zone” by pushing the triggers on your PS4 controller. In return, the time stops and you’re encouraged to clear as many lines as you can, as long as you have enough Zone points to push you through.
Once you create enough space to clear 16 lines, you achieve the highest bonus of the game, which is the decahexatris, a made-up term by the Tetris developers, which can’t be found in any dictionary around, and I surely hope that at least the Urban Dictionary will catch up on it (August Update: Yep, they finally included it, you can find it here: https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Decahexatris).
Now, although the Troika themed drinking nights don’t represent my favorite childhood memories, I do miss my parents, and I could fairly imagine them enjoying this new version of Tetris, they would maybe even combine it with a VR set and create their own little way of dealing with the bonus points and extra drinks.
But, life happened, and in the meantime the only thing I can do is introduce this game to my kids, but this time without nicotine and booze.