Tetris Ultra combines several challenging elements to make it one of the most exciting Tetris variants around. Your goal is to score as many points as possible within two minutes, which requires you to be fast, accurate, and maximize each point-scoring move.
• Use Hard Drops. They’re not worth a lot of points individually, but constant use of them makes a huge difference.
• Don’t be afraid of Combos. They take a while to set up, but they’re worth huge payoffs.
• Use your Next Queue for big Combinations, such as Back-to-Back Tetrises.
• Play fast, but not out of control. One poorly placed block can ruin a good game.
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!
You can score a ton of bonus points with Combos by performing simple line clears with every consecutive Tetrimino that falls. For every Tetrimino that drops that creates a Line Clear, you’ll earn additional bonus points. The value of the bonus has two factors: how long the consecutive streak is and what level you’re on. You’ll earn an additional 50 points multiplied by your current level for the Line Clear performed from the second Tetrimino that falls; on the third consecutive line clear you’ll earn 100 bonus points times your current level, and so on. The bonus points are in addition to whatever you earn from the Line Clears, so getting double and triple Line Clears is still valuable. Check out the bonus table on the scoring charts.
It’s best to set up a Combo a couple rows from one side, such as with the third and fourth or seventh and eight columns. Stack Tetriminos neatly to each side as high as you can. When you can’t go any higher, start dropping Tetriminos into the gap. Because every Tetrimino is at least two squares wide except for the I-Tetrimino, you’ll clear a line with every drop. Don’t worry about packing in the Tetriminos into the gap–open spaces are just opportunities for longer combo chains.
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).
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.
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