To truly become a pro at Tetris, there are a few advanced maneuvers you should know. These maneuvers can be tricky, but they’re worth a ton of points. Learning all of these key concepts will make you a more well-rounded Tetris player, and soon you’ll find yourself at the top of the leaderboards.
The scoring system in Tetris rewards clearing more than one line at a time. Clearing two lines is worth more than double the points for clearing one line. So clearing four lines at a time, known as getting a Tetris, is worth a tremendous amount of points, and is one of the most important strategic concepts to know.
Leave a one-square-wide gap on the side of the Matrix to prepare for a Tetris. Build up Tetriminos on the opposite side of the gap to avoid blocking the gap. Don’t drop the I-Tetrimino into the gap until you have at least four complete lines built up in your stack.
Tip: The I-Tetrimino is the only one that will clear four lines at once, making them extremely valuable; you want to be ready for when one appears. The best thing to do is build up a stack of Tetriminos, leaving one column on either the far left or far right side open. Concentrate on not leaving any gaps in the stack. You can let this stack grow and grow while you wait, because once you nail a Tetris the stack will shrink considerably. Be careful, though—leave one misplaced block over that long open gap and you’re in big trouble!
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).
Clearing Lines With T-Spins
A T-Spin Single is the name for performing a T-Spin while clearing a single line, and a T-Spin Double is the reward using the move to clear two lines. A T-Spin Single clears only one line but is worth as much as a Tetris (800 base points); a T-Spin Double is worth 1,200 base points. T-Spin Doubles are worth 1.5 times the points for performing a Tetris.
* Note that in past Tetris variants, other forms of T-Spins have been possible. In Tetris Friends, only the method we’ve discussed will be credited. You can still perform other types of T-Spins, but you won’t get bonus points for them.
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: Keep line clears to a minimum while performing your combo. The less lines you clear with a single tetrimino, the longer your combo can be.
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