Craving junk food or a smoke? Try Tetris instead

Looking for an excuse to play more Tetris? Good news: Engaging in just a few minutes of highly visual activities like the game appears to reduce the strength, frequency, and vividness of cravings for things like food and drugs.

Reporting in the journal Appetite, researchers at Plymouth University in the UK said that because imagery is so closely tied to cravings, they wanted to test whether highly visual activities -- in this case Tetris -- might decrease craving imagery and ultimately the cravings themselves.

Co-author Jackie Andrade said her team recruited 119 volunteers who, unlike in previous studies, were not … Read more

Yep, it's playable Tetris on a business card

Business cards are used to share your contact information and make a good impression. Even the fanciest paper business card can't hold a candle to technical designer Kevin Bates' Arduboy interactive business card that comes with a playable game of Tetris built into it.

Bates built the card using the tiniest Arduino he could find, an OLED screen, and a piezo speaker. The whole creation is only slightly thicker than a penny. It has working buttons for controlling the game, and could conceivably be programmed to play a lot more old-school games besides just Tetris. Bates is already working on a Pokemon game for the platform.… Read more

Review: Play the classic puzzle game with Tetris for Mac

Tetris for Mac is a pretty standard rendition of the classic Tetris puzzle game. Since Tetris is so popular and there are so many different iterations of it available, it's hard to have much tolerance for versions that aren't perfect. And this version, while playable, has a couple of problems that make it difficult to recommend.

The first issue we had with Tetris for Mac was that it was too long to display properly on our 13-inch MacBook Pro's screen, and there was no way to resize it. Once we started playing, we couldn't see the … Read more

One-man a capella Tetris is a winner

The Tetris theme, it can't be denied, is one of the best video game musical tracks of all time. It was nicked unashamedly from a Russian folk tune called "Korobeiniki," and it gets stuck in your head like an icepick.

Of course, we've heard a million variations. But YouTube user Smooth McGroove -- a former music teacher who quit to make a capella covers of video game music full time -- has taken it on and made possibly the best thing September will have to offer. … Read more

Speed Tetris player breaks 20-second game barrier

A normal game of Tetris is a pressure-packed test of your dexterity, spatial sense, and ability to plan ahead. A "line race" game of Tetris ratchets up the tension, requiring the player to clear 40 lines as fast as possible. Doing it in less than a minute is a cause for celebration. Player keroco did it in under 20 seconds.

The exact time was 19.68 seconds. The feat appears to be a new record for a Tetris sprint, kind of like the first time someone broke the 4-minute-mile barrier.… Read more

Review: Tetris Blitz is a new, mobile-friendly take on a classic game formula

Tetris Blitz is a re-imagining of the classic Tetris formula on a mobile touch screen, speeding up the gameplay and tasking you with getting a high score. The game is the same in concept; but with a number of very clever changes that speed it up significantly and take away the fudging of using a touch screen to maneuver the blocks, there is a much greater degree of control to be had here.

Tetris Blitz basically consists of a prerendered collection of blocks that need to be cleared. The faster you clear, the more points you rack up, and you … Read more

Crave Ep. 126: Your face, printed on a latte

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Let's Cafe prints images on the top of coffee, turning your cup of joe into a whole new visual experience. Plus, we help lazy dog owners play with their dogs without getting their hands dirty, and we also try on the amazing Tetris LED tie. All that and a little more on this week's Crave. … Read more

Tetris LED tie: Dress for retro-gaming success

Maker and teacher Bill Porter had a very important task ahead of him. He had to impress more than 100 eighth graders at a STEM camp. He had already wowed them with an LED lab coat and an 8-bit tie, but they wanted to know what was next. So Porter invented the Tetris tie, a glowing LED tribute to the classic falling-blocks game.

It took Porter about four hours to get the working prototype up and running. The tie uses 80 LED pixels powered by a DigiSpark microcontroller. It cost about $50 in materials.

Showing ingenuity and the ability to work with parts on hand, Porter fashioned the tie itself from two pieces of card stock and a cheap clip-on tie. The clip-on feature is the nerdy icing on the geeky make-cake. "I plan to revisit the design and embed the strips directly into a fabric tie for long-term use," Porter writes.… Read more

Tetris creator Alexey Pajitnov launches iOS game Marbly

Tetris creator Alexey Pajitnov has launched a new game designed exclusively for mobile devices.

Dubbed Marbly, the title is available for both Apple's iPhone and iPad. The game's description in Apple's App Store says that it's an "easy to get, but tricky to master real puzzle game" It comes with over 180 puzzles that users must work their way through.

Pajitnov has been developing games for decades, but he's best known for creating Tetris -- the massive hit for Nintendo's Game Boy.

Marbly is available now as a free download in Apple'… Read more

Why eye doctors may soon prescribe Tetris

For the roughly three percent of the population that suffers from amblyopia, or "lazy eye," the best current treatment option -- covering the stronger eye to force the weaker one into better behavior -- works only some of the time in kids and has been totally ineffective in adults.

Now researchers out of McGill University in Montreal say that playing Tetris may ultimately treat the disorder in adults because the puzzle video game trains the eyes to work together as information is distributed across them in a complementary fashion.

"The key to improving vision for adults, who … Read more