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From TV to table: Tetris board game on the way

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From the screen to your living room.

Video games have been drawing inspiration from the much older world of board gaming for decades. Now it's time for the video games
industry to give back.

Appearing this month in Barnes and Noble stores, strategy board game Tetris Link owes the Soviet Union's most famous video game more than just its name.

Link includes four sets of familiar Tetris pieces in each of four colors and a six-sided die marked with the familiar tetromino designs from the original game. Rolling the die determines which piece you'll be playing, and the tetrominos slide down a vertical plastic track not unlike a Connect 4 board.

You're not trying to make lines, though -- you're trying to connect your own pieces into continuous chains of one color, rather like perennial Yahoo! Games favorite Bricks Breaking. Leaving holes in between your pieces will cause you to lose points, while blocking other people's chains will probably cause you to lose friends. There's only one part of the Tetris experience missing: synthesized Russian dance music to play in the background. It's easily fixed; just put this video on repeat, sit back, and let the waves of nostalgia wash over you.

A favorite of gamers for a quarter of a century, Tetris remains hot property. It's been downloaded over 130 million times on mobile platforms, and a new version of the game appeared at a high-profile Nintendo press conference this week running on the company's 3D-enabled handheld. And if you happen to be a real fan, you'll know this isn't the first time Tetris has appeared in board game form; it's done so twice before, once in 1989 and once in 2003, although neither made much of an impression. No doubt publisher John Adams Toys is hoping Link proves more of a success.

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