The rules of Tetris Survival are somewhat similar to Tetris Marathon–they are both longer variants of Tetris that get incrementally faster as you gain levels. However, Survival is unique in two major ways–the number of lines you need to clear remains the same as you level up (10), and if you can beat all 20 of Survival’s levels you’ll be treated to a special bonus round. The bonus round doesn’t end (until you Block Out), but you’ll be treated to the tough challenge of Matrix occasionally going blank as you play.

• Know your controls like the back of your hand. When you get to the Bonus Round, you’ll want concentrate solely on what the Matrix looks like and what pieces are falling.

• Use T-Spins to maximize the number of points you get per level, especially T-Spin Doubles, which are worth more than Tetrises.

• Know when I-Tetriminos and T-Tetriminos are coming by keeping an eye on the Next Queue, allowing you to prepare for big moves and high-value combos.

• Tetriminos don’t lock down until they stop moving. Keep a piece "alive" by quickly spinning it or sliding it left and right.

Check out these recommended concepts for Tetris Survival:
Moving the Tetriminos / Hard Drop and Soft Drop / The T-Spin / The Next Queue.

Moving the Tetriminos

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.

Hard Drop and Soft Drop

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 T-Spin

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.

The Next Queue

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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