Hint #1 - All 3 Tetris Games: Hit & Run
One of the most underused abilities in basic Tetris games is the ability to slide pieces left and right after they've touched the ground, but before they've been locked down. Once the piece touches the ground, you still have a couple of seconds to slide it and/or rotate it before it gets locked down. If you can slide a piece underneath (or into) another piece to prevent a covered-up hole, it's almost always a good idea.
Hint #2 - All 3 Tetris Games: The Hold Queue
Tetris DS includes an extremely helpful feature: The Hold Queue. The Hold Queue allows you to store a Tetrimino for later and swap the held Tetrimino with an in-play Tetrimino at a later time. There are several helpful uses to the Hold Queue. First is the ability to save a Tetrimino for later; this is useful for saving the 1x4 Tetrimino for a full Tetris in Standard mode (to slam your opponents) and it is especially useful in Mission Tetris when the goal involves a specific Tetrimino and you get one before you can use it (save it and unleash it at just the right time). Second is the ability to gain a few seconds of thinking time; if a piece is about to touch down (but it hasn't touched down yet), you can still swap for the Tetrimino that is in the Hold Queue, which will then drop down from the top of the screen. Third is the ability to get rid of an (at the moment) Tetrimino; if you've got a Tetrimino that doesn't really fit in anywhere (like a 2x2 yellow "O" square or like a or a green "S" or red "Z" Tetrimino piece at the opening of a round), you can hold off the unhelpful Tetriminos is the same way you can hold onto the most helpful ones. Just remember: you can only swap the in-play Tetrimino with the held Tetrimino once before the piece that was held is locked into place (you can't switch back and forth an infinite number of times without locking in a piece first). In other words, if you swap by accident, there's no swapping back - so be careful.
Hint #3 - Standard Tetris: Squish Your Competition
Completing horizontal lines sends extra lines ("garbage") at your opponents, forcing their playing field up and that much closer to the top of their screen. The more lines you can complete at once, the more likely they are to receive more garbage. If you can complete a Tetris (four lines at a time with a 1x4 "I" Tetrimino), you'll hit them the hardest.
Hint #4 - Standard Tetris: Smart Item Use
Know the items ahead of time. If you know what they do, you can better time their use. For example, a Starman prevents you from being attacked; timing this to just when someone is completing a Tetris means your won't get any garbage. Lightning will stop you opponent from rotating their Tetriminos, which can be devastating and can cause someone to lose the game. Just don't hold an item so long that you can't get anything else for the whole game. For a complete list of all of the items and what they do, check out DSSingleCard.com's Tetris DS Walkthroughs.
Hint #5 - Mission Tetris: Focus On Yourself
In Mission Tetris, you aren't shown any information on your opponents except their scores. While everyone works on the same goals at the same times, you're not shown their boards - for good reason. Don't worry about what they're doing in this mode. They can't send garbage at you and you can't send garbage at them, so just focus on completing the mission first.
Hint #6 - Mission Tetris: Benefitting From Your Mistakes
Got your screen stacked up pretty high? Finding it difficult to get anything done? Stack the Tetriminos of the screen. "What? Won't I lose?" you ask. No, not in Mission Tetris. You will, admittedly, lose 20 points, but your screen will clear and you'll be all the way at the bottom, ready to earn back a lot more than the 20 points you gave up!
Hint #7 - Mission Tetris: Countdown To A Decision
Each mission has a time limit in which you must complete the goal. If noone has completed the goal when time runs out, nobody gets the points. The time limit is displayed in the bottom right corner of the lower screen as a life of life hearts (beneath Link). The hearts start out red and drain to a grayish color. Know your time limits and be prepared for the next mission in case the current goal is not completed.
Hint #8 - Push Tetris: Throw Out The Trash
Got a piece you don't want? Still have a hole all the way through that's big enough for the unwanted piece? Drop it through and never think of it again. Really.
Hint #9 - Push Tetris: Throw It Back In Their Face
Is your opponent trying for an early Tetris (or another potentially damaging assault)? Did they leave an open gap and have nowhere to land that last piece? There are two ways to make them regret it. One philosophy is, quite simply, let them suffer - don't give them a base to work off of. The other philosophy is to get a dark blue "J" Tetrimino or an orange "L" Tetrimino (whichever fits) and hook it in complete two of their lines before they can (if the board allows it).
Hint #10 - Push Tetris: Don't Give Them Gifts
Because both you and your opponent are sharing the same board in Push Tetris, any Tetrimino played by either player can be used by both. Be extra careful that anything you place can'te be used against you. Also, always start out the board by creating the platform on the gray block closest to your opponent (if you want to give yourself the advantage).
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