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The legendary empty column technique is difficult to master.

Netris is the most popular game on Netsoc's servers. While a version is installed on Matrix, the scores are only counted on Spoon.

It can be played in single-player, but it is much better as a multiplayer game. The objective in multiplayer is to outlast your opponent.

How to play

Single player

For a single player game, simply type:


This will bring up a screen like this:



To join a multiplayer game, type:

netris -w

or simply


If this gives you an error about not being able to bind to an address, type this to create a game:

netris -c localhost

A multiplayer game looks like this:



The default controls for netris are fairly simple:

j moves the block to the left
l moves the block to the right
k rotates the block
space drops the block
m down faster
s toggles spying
p pauses the game
f speeds up the game (disabled in multiplayer)
Ctrl-L redraw
n new game

These controls can be changed by by typing:

netris -k <keys>

where the argument is a list of the desired keys in the order:
left, rotate, right, drop, down-faster, toggle-spying, pause, faster, redraw, new

"^" prefixes controls, for example ^l means "Ctrl-L".

The default is "jkl mspf^ln".

After a game

When the game is over you might a screen like this:


Simply press "n" for a new game or "Ctrl-C" to quit.


To outlast your opponent, try moving rows onto their screen. This is done by filling multiple rows simultaneously. If you manage to fill 2 rows simultaneously, 1 row appears on the bottom of your opponent's screen with one block missing. If you fill 3 or more rows simultaneously, that number of rows appears at the bottom of your opponent's screen, with missing blocks in a vertical line.


It often happens that you'll connect to a game and find that the other person isn't actually playing. Do not just wait for their screen to fill up.

If this happens, pause the game (the default key is "p"). When the other person pauses and unpauses you will know that they are ready to go.


To see the top scores:

  • Type "netris-scores" for the Top 15.
  • Type "netris-scores -l" for the full list. This might be too long for the screen to display; if you type "netris-scores -l | less" you can use the arrow keys to scroll through the scores.


You can start the game with a seed to make things more interesting. Simply type "netris -s <seed>". For example, this:

netris -s 1133197586

will start a game where only the blue blocks are spawned.

It can be a lot of fun to experiment with seeds to come up with different game types. Try it out!


More information

Netris also has a good help file which can be accessed with the command

netris -h

If there is anything missing here, the help file can probably explain it.

See Also