Woz and I agree: 'Tetris' for the Gameboy is the best game ever

However, the Apple co-founder insists that he wants the version for the Gameboy Lite, which features a backlit screen suitable for long airplane rides.

Tetris for Nintendo's Gameboy may well be the best video game of all time. Nintendo

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--I was waiting to talk to Steve Wozniak last night at the 25th anniversary celebration for the Commodore 64 when I overheard him say his favorite video game of all time was Tetris for the Gameboy.

My eyes practically lit up when I heard that because, in a lot of ways, I have to agree.

In fact, as I told him a couple minutes later when I went up to talk to him, one of the things I made sure to do before I left for my Road Trip around the American Southwest this summer was go on eBay to buy a used Gameboy, just so that I could play that version of Tetris while I was traveling.

Woz seemed a little surprised that I agreed with him, but then he enthusiastically told me that, actually, it wasn't just the normal version of Gameboy Tetris that he loved. Specifically, he said, it was the version for the Gameboy Light, a rare version of the machine distributed only in Japan that has a backlit screen suitable for play on long plane rides.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak at the 25th anniversary celebration for the Commodore 64 on Monday night. Woz said his favorite video game of all time was Tetris for the Gameboy Lite. Daniel Terdiman/CNET News.com

Not only that, he said, but he'd just been thinking about going on eBay to try to find one of the machines and the Tetris cartridge for it. So this morning, I noticed a Gameboy Lite available for sale on Craigslist, and I sent it to Woz. Apparently, though, it didn't come with Tetris. Bummer.

For me, the Gameboy Tetris was fantastic because the game is so amazingly simple, yet addictive. And that actual version just works so well on that machine. It feels good in your hands; it looks good on the screen; it makes a really satisfying sound when you score a tetris (clearing four lines at once) and the scoring system was just about right.

One of the funny things about Tetris is that there are innumerable versions of it, and they all seem to work a little bit different.

Perhaps my second favorite version was a version for Windows I used to play back in the days when I was a technical support "specialist" for Borland in the early '90s. I realized that Tetris was the kind of game that really requires only your subconscious brain. And I know this because I used to play while I was on support calls. And, believe it or not, the more intense the call and the more involved I was in it, the better my Tetris score. I kid you not.

Anyway, this all got us to thinking: What is your favorite video game of all time, and why? If you have a thought on this, please feel free to post into the comments section.

 

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