Retro Games Research



A series of geometric shapes fall down the playing field (called the ‘well’ or ‘matrix’). The goal of the game is to manipulate the pieces so that they form a continuous line across the well. When an unbroken line is created, it is deleted and all the blocks above it will fall down by however many lines were removed. as the game progresses. The pieces fall faster and the game ends when there is no space left in the well for new shapes to fall.

Visual look and different release versions

There have been many different versions of Tetris, each with different graphic styles and variations on gameplay mechanics.

The first version, made for the Soviet DVK-2 computer, was text-based, using square brackets to form the shapes.


The 1986 version, made for the IBM PC, was also text-based but used actual shape blocks that were coloured rather than the square brackets of the original.




The aim of the game is to control the Pac-man through a maze to ‘eat’ all of the ‘Pac-dots’ to progress to the next stage. in the corners of the maze are four larger, flashing dots that allow the Pac-man the ability for a limited time to eat the ‘ghosts’ and earn extra points. Whilst in this mode, the ‘ghosts’ turn dark blue, reverse direction and move more slowly. when a ‘ghost’ is eaten it disappears except for its eyes and returns to the centre box where it returns to its normal state.

Visual look

The visual look of Pacman is traditionally a black background with dark blue maze borders.


Character design

The main character (Pac-man) is a yellow circle with a wedge taken out for a mouth


The rest of the characters are various coloured ‘ghosts’




Designed to mimic table-tennis, pong was one of the earliest arcade games. It was very simplistic, consisting of two ‘paddles’, a centre line and a score-counter for each player.