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Play Tetris on Your BlackBerry PlayBook

Tetris is one of two games that comes with the basic suite of apps on your BlackBerry PlayBook. It’s back to the future with Tetris, a classic electronic game.

It was actually born in the U.S.S.R. in 1984. Programmer Alexey Pajitnov named the game after the Greek numerical prefix tetra and added a suffix from his favorite sport, tennis. And just to add to the mix, the game pieces are known as Tetrominoes.

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The game was a staple of early personal computers and then moved on to gaming machines like the Nintendo Entertainment System. Just in case anyone out there hasn’t played it, here’s the basic idea: a random sequence of tetrominoes of various block shapes fall down into the vertical well.

Your assignment is to manipulate the blocks by moving them from side to side or rotating them in 90-degree increments so that you eventually fill a row completely across the screen.

Each time a line is filled, it disappears and any block trapped above the line drops down one or more rows. Playing is relatively easy at first, and then the blocks come faster and the rows build up from the bottom, and then the room starts to spin and sweat breaks out on your brow . . .

The version of Tetris on the BlackBerry PlayBook is similar to the original, except that you manipulate the blocks by tapping and swiping on the touchscreen. And you can use a number of special tools and extra tricks. You can also see the next few upcoming blocks, which is a great deal of help if you can manage to divert your eyes from the well for a few microseconds.

The game includes several screens of help, which should get you past the opening sequence. Then prepare to lose hours of productive work.

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