Tetris is an elegant game — some might even say perfect in its simplicity. So, what happens when you decide to intentionally mess with the formula to turn Tetris into something terrible? One game developer is answering this question with Terrible Tetris Tuesdays, a Twitter trend focused on making everyone a little bit irritated — or perhaps awestruck — with some new mechanic or complication.
For instance, what if Tetris, but all of the pieces were tiny? Or sticky? Or there was a persistent fog of war on the screen, and you could only really spot the area around your current block? What if you could only clear vertical lines? These are questions that absolutely no one asked for when they first started playing Tetris, but game developer Henri is tackling these quandaries. Tetrible is available to play on the developer’s itch.io page, for the morbidly curious.
“In April 2021, I had been playing Tetris 99 on the Switch for about a year, and as I often do when I play the same game for too long, I really wanted to make a Tetris clone,” he told Polygon via Twitter. “My idea was simple: make something that was definitely Tetris, but also terribly bad. The name ‘Tetrible’ (Tetris + Terrible) came naturally from that.”
The first draft was simple: What if every Tetris piece was too long?
Since then, there have been over a dozen variations on Tetrible. Some of Henri’s favorite iterations include Vertical Tetrible and Lava Tetrible, both of which offer a unique challenge.
Despite the fact that some of these GIFs look infuriating, Henri says that this project is a love letter to Tetris.
“Tetris is one of the rare games that is really old (in video game years) and beloved, but has barely changed in almost 40 years,” he said. “Very few games are that famous while still having most of the design space around them left unexplored. This means it’s the perfect candidate for parody! I get to make Tetris a bit worse every Tuesday, then spend the rest of my week watching people love/hate it. It’s great.”