The world of Tetris has always intrigued me. I am often shocked by the speed and accuracy of the game’s top players. When I was a kid, I can remember passing around our family’s two Game Boys between my parents and sister. We would often compete for the highest score and most lines. (Yes, we are a bunch of nerds; I have embraced that!) I always thought I was good, but eventually, when I was able to take my game online via Tetris Party, Tetris Plus, and other modern versions of the game, I realized how much I was behind the competition.
Recently, I ran across the 2011 documentary, Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters. The movie covers a group of the best Tetris players in the world as they compete for the 2010 Tetris World Championship. Robin Mihara brings together these top players, including Thor Aackerlund (1990 Nintendo World Champion), Jonas Neubauer, Harry Hong, Ben Mullen, Jesse Kelkar, Dana Wilcox, and Alex Kerr.
The film does a great job of catching up with each of these players, getting into a bit of their history, and finding out what makes them tick. It is really interesting hearing their stories, as they all have a reason why they initially got into Tetris. Following these stories, you quickly begin to look beyond their quirks and get to know the people behind the high scores.
As the movie progresses, the day for the competition is upon them, and the viewer is able to catch a glimpse into each player’s practice regime and routines. Some rock the controller a certain way, and others focus on one side more than another. The list goes on and on, and the viewer soon realizes why they are the best. They have all figured out what works for them, and they have perfected it over much trial and error.
When I originally began watching this movie, I did not have high hopes. I just wanted to see how crazed some Tetris players can be. What I found out, though, was the stories of several top players. I got to know them for 90 minutes, and I began to root for them to do well in the tournament. Not only did I pick up some great tips for doing better in the game, I also gained more respect for those who are the best at playing it.
While it may not be the highest quality film you have ever seen, this documentary is done well. So, if you are looking for a quality video game documentary about one of the most classic games, look no further than Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters!
More about Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters:
- Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters is available from iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, YouTube, and Google Play. It is also currently available on Crackle to view for free.
- Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters won several awards from the 2012 Phoenix Comicon Festival, 2011 Austin Film Festival, 2011 IDFA, 2011 Cucalorus Film Festival, 2012 Glasgow Film Fest, 2012 Big Sky Doc Fest, 2012 Wisconsin Film Fest, 2012 Gothenburg IFF, and the 2011 SF Doc Fest.
- Find out more about Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters at http://www.ecstasyoforder.com.
Official Movie Trailer:
(This review is also posted on the Nintendo site I blog for, NintendoFuse.com.)