Sunday, 16 February 2014

My 10th Favourite Video Game of All Time

One of my favourite pastimes is to play video games, even if I don’t get as much time to play them these days as I would like to. I’ve been playing them ever since I was a little boy. And so I thought I’d compile and share a list of my ten favourite video games of all time. Although, one rule I’ve stipulated for this list is to have no more than one game from any series of video games, to ensure that there is some variety in the list.

It’s important to note that this will be a list of my personal favourite games, and not necessarily what most people would consider to be the best games of all time. There may be games which, if you’re a gamer, you would think would feature on a list of the best games of all time, but won’t appear here. Also, don’t expect to see much in the way of modern games on here – I haven’t had time to play many of them! This list will feature games which I personally love to play. If I could only play ten video games between now and the end of time, this list contains the ten that I would choose.

I’ll be doing a separate post for each one, but I may not do all of these posts over the next ten weeks – if there’s something else that I feel like blogging about this list may take a break for a week to make way for a different post.

But, without further ado, let’s crack on with my 10th favourite video game of all time...

Tetris (GameBoy – 1989)

Tetris is a game which just about everyone knows about. Even people who don’t regularly play video games are likely to have at least heard about it. It has been one of the most popular puzzle video games, and is still widely played today.

The original version was created in 1984 in the Soviet Union by Alexey Pajitnov, but the version which I – and many other people in the West – first played was the GameBoy version, first released in 1989 (although it didn’t get released in Europe until late 1990). And so it is this version which features on my list.

At the time, the GameBoy was new – it was one of the first handheld games consoles. Tetris was a game which was often bundled with new GameBoys, and so many people got to play it – and get addicted to it. Tetris has often been credited as helping to secure the early success of the GameBoy.

The gameplay is simple – simply create rows of blocks out of the blocks that fall from the top of the screen. The blocks that fall (known as Tetriminos) are all formed of four smaller squares. The more rows you complete, the more points you score, and the faster the game gets.

Whilst my gameplaying skills have become a bit rusty in recent years, I’m still pretty good at Tetris! I find it’s still good when I need to give my brain a workout.

The GameBoy version of the game also had two other game modes. One involved you having to complete a set number of rows, sometimes with some blocks already on the screen. And if you managed to do this on the hardest level, for some reason, you got to see a space shuttle get launched.

The other mode was a two-player mode, where you had to connect two GameBoys together. If you completed two or more rows, they got transferred over to your opponents screen.

Another well known aspect of the game is the main music used. Most people today would just think of it as the Tetris theme, but it was in fact an arrangement of a Russian folk song called Korobeiniki.

If you search for the Tetris theme on YouTube, you’ll find many, many versions of it. Such as this acapella version of it by Smooth McGroove:

But, personally, I think that the best version of it is this video, which features the complete history of the Soviet Union – arranged to the melody of Tetris (I particularly like the rainbow coloured blocks at the end of this one...):

So, that’s my 10th favourite video game of all time. Join me again next week where I’ll be revealing my 9th favourite video game of all time, one which is also considered to be a classic of its genre, and also helped to launch a new console...

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