Remember that weird cartridge?
Well, it’s finally happened: Nintendo and Tengen have filed for divorce, in the form of a $100 million lawsuit. But, as it turns out, Nintendo gets to keep the kids. And by “kids” I mean “Tetris.” A shame, too, because honestly Tetris turned out a lot better growing up with Tengen—an uglier child, but smarter. Nintendo’s had the looks and the charisma, though, and ultimately that’s the one people remember. Life isn’t fair, but that’s how it goes.
In addition to exploring the illegal Tengen version of Tetris, this episode also spends some time with the OTHER version of Tetris for Nintendo’s console: The Bullet Proof Software release that only shipped in Japan. When we look back on the NES era, it always feels like American kids got the short end of the stick while their peers in Japan got all the good stuff. Well, this is the exception. Tengen Tetris may offer a good argument for being a superior work to Nintendo’s take on the game, but both stomp BPS Tetris into a muddy puddle.