Codex Gamicus

Tetris DS is a re-release of Tetris designed for the Nintendo DS, developed and published by Nintendo.


See the Tetris article for more information.

While The Tetris Company, LLC and Blue Planet Software had originally granted the Tetris license to THQ until 2007, The Tetris Company allowed Nintendo to publish Tetris DS in favor of the almost finished Tetris game by THQ. THQ had originally announced Tetris DS for E3 2005, but the game was never shown. The game supports up to ten players via Single-Cart Download Play and up to four players online with the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service.


The main focus of all of the modes in Tetris DS are the tetrominoes, which are rotated and placed to form solid rows in the game field. Solid rows then disappear, and the rows above fall.


Controls vary slightly based on which version of the game you are playing. Menus are navigated with the touch screen, or with the D-Pad and the A-Button (ok) and B-Button (cancel).

During most play pieces are moved horizontally with the Left and Right, Up drops the falling piece all the way to the bottom, the Down button increases the rate of fall. Pieces are rotated with the A (clockwise) and B (counter-clockwise) buttons. L and R Shoulder Buttons are used to swap the current piece with the hold piece.

In some modes, pieces can be manipulated with the stylus and touch screen.

Single player[]

There are six single player modes. Each mode has a How-To feature, and will allow the player to compete against the CPU to simulate multiplayer gameplay. Each mode has a specific theme displayed as the background during gameplay.


By default, players can choose between Marathon and Line Clear versions of the classic Tetris game. There are also new features in this version of Tetris.

Players can start the game from any level they've previously reached in Marathon.

New Features[]

  • Next Piece
In the original Tetris, players are shown the next piece as the current piece falls down the field. In Tetris DS, players are, by default, shown the next six pieces.
  • Hold Piece
Players also have the option of using a Hold Piece to store a single piece for future use. The current piece and the hold piece can be swapped by pressing the L-Button.
Each level has a theme, which acts as a background, and doesn't affect gameplay.
Level Themes
Level #s Theme
1 & 2 Super Mario Bros., World 1-1
3 Super Mario Bros., World 1-2
4 & 5 Super Mario Bros. 3, World 1-1
7 Super Mario Bros., World 1-2
8 & 9 Super Mario Bros.
10 & 11 Super Mario Bros., World 1-1


In this version, players are challenged to clear two-hundred lines of blocks. As in the original Tetris game, tetrominoes fall from the top of the screen, increasing in speed with every level. Players advance one level for every ten lines that they clear.

Line Clear[]

This game has players clear twenty-five lines in the selected level. Players can also choose to start with up to 50% of the screen filled with random blocks. Gameplay is the same as marathon mode, except play ends after twenty-five lines have been cleared, and difficulty does not increase.


This mode gives the player control of a core or a single square block. The goal is to catch pieces as they fall from the top of the screen, and build a 4x4 square of tiles. As you catch pieces, they are fused into the core. The core can be rotated, but the pieces cannot. When a 4x4 square is completed, it will explode, taking all adjacent blocks with it. Before the explosion, you can increase the size of the grid by adding pieces to form larger and larger cubes.

Catch has a Metroid theme, complete with Metroids that can interfere with your core by destroying blocks and reducing your energy bar. Allowing a piece to fall, or rotating the core into a falling piece will also reduce your energy. If your run out of energy, game over.

The game is played using the D-Pad to move the core, and the A and B buttons to rotate the core. Players can also use the shoulder buttons to increase the speed at which pieces fall. After completing the 4x4 cube, it is possible to detonate the core by pressing X. It is important to note that, in this version, the player has no control over the pieces as they fall.





  • Donkey Kong theme