October 19, 2016 • Cee • Comics


Tetris, this addicting puzzle with its geometric shapes slowing falling from the sky is a game that’s very iconic, but do you know anything about its history?

I didn’t. I didn’t think I’d want to learn about it because my naïve self didn’t think the history would be interesting. I was very wrong about that. I just needed the right format that’ll suck me into the history, and that format is Box Brown’s graphic novel about Tetris. Friends, you can’t help but be invested in this history when you get down to the Tetris bits.


  • It discusses Tetris’s history.

Tetris’s history is rooted into a lot of battles. Readers will learn about who created Tetris—Alexey Pajitnov, a Russian computer scientist who created the game in his spare time in 1984 for himself and for the love of games; businessmen and game developers (like Andromeda Software and Ataris) wanting a piece of the pie; the misuse of Tetris (it had once been shared amongst people for free, but soon became a game of profit); disputes of copyrights (did Andromeda Software have the rights? Did Ataris? ELORG? Or Nintendo?); legal battles; and Cold War politics. It’s absolutely riveting.

  • Everybody loved Tetris.

Everybody who got their hands on Tetris loved it. When the addicting game propelled out of Russia and into the West, it became an instant hit. It connected everybody when the world was in the midst of the Cold War. Everybody wanted a piece of Tetris, especially software companies and game developers. They saw the impact it had on people’s lives and proceeded to get the rights to the game to use in their own products. This caused a lot of problems for many people, which readers will learn when they learn about the interest and rivalries.

  • This graphic novel presents all the players involved in Tetris.

There’s a lot of people who wanted Tetris, and because of that, Tetris became embroiled in a rights dispute and a legal battle that tried to untangle who actually has the rights to the game. It can be confusing at times with the many people involved, but Box Brown does a wonderful job illustrating and portraying these characters in a way that’ll engrain themselves into your memory.

  • The art is minimalistic and fantastic.

All readers will see on the page the events surrounding Tetris in three colors—yellow, black, and white.

There’s nothing else but those and it fits with the graphic novel. The colors are a testament to Box Brown’s artistic ability; he presents the history beautifully and clearly without distraction. The art is not strictly of people and sceneries; there’s grids and shapes, codes, newspaper articles, old school technology, pixels, and so much more that readers should feast their eyes on! (Just take a gander at these beautiful examples.)

Why you should read Tetris: The Games People Play? You get to learn about this 1980s iconic puzzle game! It’s an absolutely riveting tale! If you read a text version of the history, I bet your eyes will start to glaze over it, but Tetris: The Games People Play is an excellent example of a format that will keep people’s attention. You’ll find all the negotiations and disputes and legal battles fascinating stuff to read. This graphic novel ponders about gaming and the art of it; it shows how games connect people, and how despite barriers in language or politics, everybody knows when they see a great game. Everybody wants a piece of Tetris, and you should too!

Who will love this comic? Lovers of Tetris + non-fiction graphic novel readers! (Also Tetris players). Readers who want to learn about Tetris.

Are you convinced? Add to your TBR on Goodreads. Go buy Tetris: The Games We Play from your local comic book store, or these online retailers: Amazon · Barnes & Noble · The Book Depository · Indigo. Or borrow it from your library.

Find Box Brown here: Website · Twitter.

Are you excited about Tetris: The Game We Play? Do you know about Tetris’s history?


One Response to “FROM PANEL TO PANEL • The Games We Play (Tetris by Box Brown)”

  1. Chloe says:

    Tetris! I don’t know anything about Tetris except a little about the court case when my dad tried to educate me on it, lol. This looks cool though!

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