Tengen Tetris and Nintendo Tetris History

By: Matthew Corgan
Business Management Articles

First what exactly is a Tetris?

By definition a Tetris is when four lines are eliminated simultaneously followed by a funny clicking noise. Nothing secret or special besides extra points at the end of the Tetris game.

In 1985-1988 dozens of companies were fighting over the rights to Tetris. The two main conflicting companies were Nintendo and Tengen. Tengen was a branch off of Atari Games (arcade games). The problem was that both Tengen and Nintendo were competition directly against each other while rights were still being figured out.

In 1988 rights to handhold and console versions were given to Nintendo while arcade rights were given to Atari. That still didn't solve the problem with all the Tengen Nes Cartridges released to the public. Making Tengen Tetris the rarest Nes Cartridge in history.

In game the only major difference between the two games is that Tengen added a multi-player mode. Even if you didn't have a 2nd player you could always face a computer. While Nintendo's could only play one player mode. That was until they made 2 which was not as profitable as the first Tetris by both companies(Tengen and Nintendo).

The music in both games will give you a headache after listening to it for awhile. Nintendo's music sounded clean compared to the gritty high pitched music in Tengen's version.

The better game overall is Tengen's because it has the addition of the two player option (w/o computer) and slightly better graphics. Tengen Tetris is also the highest valued Nes Cartridge in the history of Nes. So the chances of finding this Nes Cartridge are very slim.

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