Intelligent TETRIS (ITETRIS for short) is another implementation of the classic game that could hardly impress anyone, apart from a minor feature: ability to play itself. Yes, it can think! In demo mode, it does not follow a predesigned scenario, it does not even select a convenient tile: the tiles fall in usual random way.
ITETRIS was first written for MS DOS in 1993. At that time no one could predict the provocative Microsoft behaviour toward its own child. My complete frustration with idiotic and stubborn Windows 95, understanding that nothing could revert to good old days of healthy coexistence of console-based and GUI applications on MS platforms, caused me to consider alternatives - Linux appeared to be the best one. After reading svaglib documentation, I was really impressed: the library contained almost all the graphic interface, that I had to build myself for DOS, while Linux forking facility allowed using an external music player, instead of re-developing it!
While porting the game to Linux, I tried to keep the original appearance, as an emphasis of the long history of TETRIS as a game, and ITETRIS in particular. 'Thinking' algorithm remained unchanged for 6 years, untill it recent improvement for release 1.6.0. Linux version takes benefit of 256-colour mode, but can work in 16 colour mode as well! If your video-card is not supported or badly supported by svgalib, you can still run the game, pretending to have a standard VGA card. ITETRIS even has a special mode for an EGA card (you need to patch svgalib for that)! This is why ITETRIS can be considered as a Computer Retro.
A Linux-exclusive feature of ITETRIS is the music play list. You can nominate a music player and a tune for each level, or for a number of consecutive levels. The tune changes automatically with a new level.
The game has (rather primitive) visual effects, and an original (rather controversial) way of scoring. It keeps a list of high scores, but allows to avoid registering as a high scorer.
ITETRIS provides an easy way to configure for a different language, even using right-to-left direction of writing (as Hebrew or Arabic). It does not support multi-character Unicode though.
Another inheritance from DOS is an optional joystick support. In Linux is has been realised through a driver. Use joystick driver 0.8.0 or 1.1.14.Avoid using 1.1.13 and prior 1.x.x driver versions with an analogue joystick ! These releases have a serious design problem, that make them completely inappropriate, especially with background music.
Now ITETRIS exists in both svgalib and X versions, distributed in a single package. You don't need any extra library, apart from svgalib or X11 library, in order to run it. The package is small and worth trying. Enjoy!
P.S. X-version of the game is expected to work also on non-Linux platforms. The new configuration script included with version 1.6.0 will take care of that. Test it and don't forget to send the feedback!
New features of version 1.6.1:
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