TetriNET: The natural evolution of things

roguelike games saw their eventual ascension to the grand swirl of the Internet with TomeNET, so I suppose it’s only logical that Tetris make that same leap as well.


And I suppose, if we reach all the way back to things like netships or vitetris or nettoe, or maybe even further back into the recesses of bsd-games, there are plenty of titles that were intended to take advantage of network connections, if not simultaneous multiplayer games.

What you see above is the Debian version of TetriNET, in its textmode variation and with no more than the Linux Mint framebuffer as its foundation. Not bad, considering. (The AUR version segfaulted every time I tried to enter a game.)

I connected with little more than just tetrinet-client mint server.tetrinet.info, and once in a very irssi-like interface, got going almost immediately into a few games.

TetriNET adds a few interesting twists to the standard Tetris game: Your opponents’ moves can complicate your own board, and the server itself will obstruct you if it can, and insert broken lines into your trough. There are also some dastardly things you can do to other players, as rewards for your own successes.

So no, it’s not as intentionally cruel as bastet, but it does work against those marathon six-hour games you used to brag about during the golden days of Gameboy Tetris.

Visually speaking, TetriNET defaults to simplified ASCII block shapes with troughs drawn in fundamental characters, like you see above. There are options for better sets available through flags; the difference I saw at the framebuffer was the use of line-drawing characters instead of pipes and dashes for the troughs. As far as the game pieces go, I only ever saw hash marks, but experiment with the different settings to see what looks best on your screen.

As a side note, TetriNET also expects function keys for some of its commands, and as luck would have it some of those keys might be tied to your window manager while you’re in X. Now I have warned you about the dangers of using X for years, so if you keep getting the GNOME help menu when you try to jump into your next game of TetriNET, I don’t want to hear about it. 👿

I think that’s about enough for now. I can’t imagine how else Tetris might evolve in its text-only rendition, but perhaps that’s for future generations to discover. 😐