Improving your Tetris Marathon game requires concentration and patience. Although point values increase every time you gain a level, you shouldn’t simply hustle through early levels to get to where big moves are more valuable. In fact, early levels are just the place to get up to pace with moves like T-Spins and Combos.
• The blistering pace of Marathon rewards accurate Tetrimino movement, especially the ability to rotate Tetriminos both clockwise and counter-clockwise.
• When the game gets up to pace, knowing what Tetriminos are coming via the Next Queue gives you a huge advantage. Practice thinking two and three Tetriminos ahead.
• The T-Spin is not only a good move for earning big points, it can also be a life-saver when you’re trying to clear lines in tight spaces.
Using the arrow keys, you can adjust where and how the Tetriminos fall. By pressing the LEFT and RIGHT Arrow keys, you can slide the falling Tetrimino from side to side. You can’t slide a Tetrimino past the edge of the Matrix. By pressing the UP Arrow key, you can rotate the Tetrimino 90 degrees clockwise. You can move the Tetriminos even after they Lock Down at the bottom of the Matrix briefly. The Tetrimino will Lock Down as soon as you stop trying to move it. At that point, the next Tetrimino will begin to fall.
Tip: At slower speeds it won’t matter much which way you turn the Tetrimino. But when the action heats up, the precious time it takes to make three rotations clockwise or once counterclockwise will make a huge difference.
As your game improves and you begin to pay attention to the Tetriminos in your Next Queue, you might find yourself getting a little impatient waiting for the piece to fall. You have two options to speed up the game—the Soft Drop and the Hard Drop—and they’re both really easy to do.
The Soft Drop is performed by pressing the DOWN Arrow key—the Tetrimino will fall much faster than usual while you hold down the key, but as soon as you let go the piece will resume its normal pace. You retain complete control over the piece while doing a Soft Drop.
The Hard Drop is much less forgiving—hit the Space Bar to cause the Tetrimino to fall straight down, forgoing any further opportunity to move it. The Hard Drop is great for timed games where your goal is to get pieces into position as quickly as possible. Pay attention to the Ghost Piece to help you see where the Tetrimino will fall, and don’t press the space bar until you’re ready!
The concept of the Next Queue is simple enough: as you play, you can see the next five Tetriminos that will fall. But with so much else to pay attention to, the hard part is actually putting the Next Queue to good use.
There are two basic ways to get value out of the Next Queue. The first is to see which Tetrimino immediately follows the one that is currently falling. Knowing that, you can make better decisions about where to drop the current one. Or, you may see that the Tetrimino in the Hold Queue would work better with the next Tetrimino to drop.
Tip: The other way to make use of the Next Queue is to watch it for critical pieces, such as I-Tetriminos for Tetrises and T-Tetriminos for T-Spins. If you’ve set up a big point-getter such as one of these, you need to know how many Tetriminos will fall before you can perform the payoff move.
To perform a T-Spin, you must first create a T-Tetrimino-shaped hole in the Matrix (called a T-Slot) with one extra block hanging over one side of it. There are many ways to set up this situation; the best way to practice setting them up is to play Marathon mode very slowly–that way you won’t run out of time.
As the T-Tetrimino falls, turn it so that it is upright and so the cross of the T faces away from the overhanging block above the T-Slot. As the Tetrimino comes to rest inside the T-Slot, turn it toward the open space under the block.
Tip: You receive plenty of points for executing T-Spins, but the real bonuses come when you can pull them off and clear one or two lines at the same time (moves called T-Spin singles and T-Spin doubles).
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