How to Play Tetris: The Card Game
Tetris: The Card Game is loads of fun. Just make sure you know all the rules before you start playing!
In the official Tetris Shop, there are several fun games that put a new spin on the Tetris we all know and love. One of these games is Tetris: The Card Game. Upon first glance, you might think that Tetris: The Card Game plays out a bit like Uno thanks to the colorful Tetrimino cards.
However, Tetris: The Card Game is a bit more complex than Uno. Whether you’re on the fence about purchasing Tetris: The Card Game, or simply lost the instruction manual, we’ve got you covered. Below, we’ll go over everything you need to know when it comes to playing Tetris: The Card Game!
Tetris: The Card Game can be played with 1-4 players ages 8 and up. The object of the game is to be the first person to complete 10 lines. To do this, you’ll need to fill a horizontal row of the Matrix with a specific Tetrimino. To set your game up, you’ll want to shuffle your deck of 110 cards, then deal 10 cards randomly to each player. In the center, be sure to create a draw pile and a discard pile in order to keep things organized.
With the cards dealt, players will need to place them into 2 rows of 5 with the Tetrimino side facing up. In doing so, each player will form their Score Row. Essentially, Score Row cards are used to keep score (as the name suggests). This helps demonstrate the number of lines each player has completed. As mentioned above, the goal is to complete 10 lines in total.
With their Score Row, players will flip a card over to show its Matrix side for every completed line. To make things a bit more intense, the game includes Power Cards. These cards let players steal cards away from other players’ Score Rows during the game. Power Cards can be utilized from a player’s hand (Queue) and can be used during a turn in place of a Tetrimino. Once the Power Card has been used, place it in the discard pile.
How to Play
To start things off, the player to the left of the dealer will begin by drawing a card from the draw pile. Now, their Queue holds two cards. After this, the player will look at their Matrix to see if either of the 2 Tetrimino cards in their hand can be placed in order to complete a line. Next, the player discards 1 card that completes a line in the shown Matrix.
While discarding a card, the player can show the other players how the Tetrimino fits into their Matrix by rotating it over the top of the Matrix (if needed). Note that the player doesn’t discard the card on top of the Matrix but rather beside it on the discard pile. Meanwhile, the second card remains in the player’s Queue for the next round. Keep in mind, a player cannot hold more than 2 cards in their Queue at a given time.
If a player is unable to clear a line during their turn, they must announce they are “Dropping” before discarding a card. Players who Drop a card are penalized and are required to flip a card in their Score Row from the Matrix side back over to the Tetrimino side. If there are no Score Row cards to flip, no penalty is applied. The player then passes the turn to the player on their left, who draws a card from the draw pile and continues the game.
Again, the object of the game is to complete 10 lines before everyone else. In order to determine the winner, players will need to keep score. Cards played have the potential to complete one, two, three, or even four lines of the player’s Matrix.
To keep track, the player will flip over a set number of cards in their Score Row to the Matrix side based on how many lines they’ve completed. As mentioned above, if a player cannot complete a line, they’re stuck Dropping a card and taking the penalty of flipping a card in their Score Row back over.
The first player to complete 10 lines will have all of their cards flipped over from the Tetrimino side to the Matrix side. This makes it easy to keep track of how well you’re doing in Tetris: The Card Game.
Understanding Power Cards
In Tetris: The Card Game, there are Power Cards that boast a special move. We briefly mentioned Power Cards, but let’s go into a bit more depth about what each one does.
- Skip: This Power Card lets you skip the turn of the opponent on your left.
- Steal: This Power Card lets you steal any card that’s revealed in an opponent’s Score Row and swap it with the Steal card. You can play the card you’ve stolen immediately.
- Flip 2: This Power Card lets you choose an opponent and have them flip back over 2 cards in their Score Row from the Matrix side to the Tetrimino side. If the chosen opponent has less than 2 lines scored, they’ll need to flip as many cards back over as possible.
- Reload: This Power Card lets the player swap the Reload card with any Matrix card that’s revealed in an opponent’s Score Row. Upon using the Reload card, the player must immediately play both the new Matrix card and the matching Tetrimino card. After that, the player draws 1 card from the draw pile to restore their Queue.
- Bomb: This Power Card forces all players, except the player who played the card, to flip 1 card in their Score Row from the Matrix side back over to the Tetrimino side.
Now that you have a better idea of how Power Cards work, it’s time to take a look at the last component of Tetris: The Card Game… special rules.
There are a variety of special rules in Tetris: The Card Game, and they’re valuable to know as they can often help you reach the goal of 10 lines completed. Below, we detailed each of the game’s special rules and how they work in Tetris: The Card Game.
- Bonus Matrix Cards: In Tetris: The Card Game, there are 10 Bonus Matrix cards in the deck. These allow the Matrix to be completely filled with 1 specific Tetrimino card. If a player completes the Bonus Matrix, they’re allowed to flip 1 extra card in their Score Row over from the Tetrimino Side to the Matrix side in addition to the cards flipped by completing lines in the Matrix.
- Contested Play: If any player feels a card was played incorrectly, they’re allowed to contest the play. If the contesting player proves to be correct, they get a free line and can flip a card over to the Matrix side in their Score Row. Meanwhile, the player being contested must flip over any incorrectly scored lines. However, if the contesting player is wrong, they lose a line and must flip a card back over to the Tetrimino side.
- Swipe Play: If a player “Drops” a Tetrimino during their turn that could’ve been used to solve the Matrix, other players may speak up and show how the Tetrimino could have been used. If the swiping player is correct, they get the score of the lines completed. If they’re wrong, they lose a line and must flip a card back over to the Tetrimino side in their Score Row.
- Beginning/Advanced Players: There is an option in Tetris: The Card Game that lets you deal the number of cards in the Score Row based on experience level. Beginners only need 5 cards while advanced players get 10 cards. Then, the game progresses as normal. This can help introduce new players to the game and help them learn the rules faster.
- Solitaire Play: With these special rules, you remove the Power Cards from the deck and deal 10 cards Matrix side up on the table. Set the remaining cards off to the side forming a draw pile. Then, draw two cards from the top of the draw pile. After that, a player must complete a line on each of the 10 Matrix cards by placing a correct Tetrimino on top. Once a card has been played, the player can draw another card back into their Queue (with the Queue not exceeding 2 cards). To win, cover all 10 Matrix cards without discarding. For a more competitive challenge, remember to count the number of lines completed on the 10 Matrix cards and use as a high score to beat in future games.
There you have it, a look at how to play Tetris: The Card Game! Looking to purchase Tetris: The Card Game? Head over to the official Tetris Shop to order yourself a pack! If you’d rather play Tetris online, we’ve got you covered there as well. Click here to play Tetris right here on our website!