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Some analysis

Some plans for future analysis

Board health

Ideas to measure board health

  • simple board fill - Count of positions on the board that are used. This is extremely simple and is already in the analysis
  • modified board fill - count columns that have holes in them, and use that as modifying factor to the simple board fill. The height of those columns (or of highest?) should be a factor too
  • board age - for each used position, track how long (age in pieces spawned) it has been on the board. Health is then the sum of ages. Lower = healthier
    • A low board will have a higher turnover of pieces and better health. A high board will have low rows that are stuck for a long time - as they age the health will decrease, indicating we are high and possibly stuck there...
    • however, it's still not an objective absolute, as two identical boards may register different health
    • discussion in this thread: https://twitter.com/Caber_nl/status/1065174652060909570
  • weighted board fill - count occupied positions in columns. The unhealth of a piece is valued according to how difficult it is to get to. Basically, the more buried a piece is, the higher it scores. Buried holes need to be handled in some form (they are bad), and deep open wells need to be handled (they are good)
    • possible implementation: every occupied position is a point. Those that are on an equal row or higher than the lowest accessible open spot have no further weighting, however each occupied position below that row gets an additional +1 for each row further down. Each unoccupied position (hole!) gets an additional +1.
    • Should it handle horizontal holes (ie don't count quite as strongly because once uncovered, they'll be easier to fill and move on?)

Sociopolitical analysis

The game can be examined as a microcosm of human democratic/communication behaviour!

I wrote some notes about this at one point. There have been many tweets too.


  • Avoid center holes and center towers
  • Keep the board clean
Playing @EmojiTetra:

1 dimensional: where do I put this piece?
2 dimensional: …and think about ensuring a spot for the next piece
2.5 dimensional: …and maximise points with the current two pieces
3 dimensional: …and consider the resulting silhouette for the next unknown…!

Rhyming game tips

(refer also to My Terminology below)

If there are less rows than four, build it up to score some more
If there are more rows than five, tear it down to stay alive
  • "less than four? build up more"
  • "make a column only if it's to the bottom"
    • on the side build a column, but only if it's to the bottom
    • note: uses non-standard use of "column". Should find a tip to call it a well
  • "more than five? clear some lines to stay alive"
  • "1+1<2" - this is great for sentiment and brevity, but the only people it would be clear to are the power players who know it anyway!

Game Table

Game Theme Start date/tweet End date/tweet Score Scoring rate (per day)(link to video of game) Cause of death (usually analysis of lower 9 rows) Notes
1 Fruit 16th April 2018 28th April 2018 8375 734.47 Capping an I-well (6 deep well on right edge, with a 3deep cap after final scoring move) First game naturally topped the high score table. Board style changed on 19th: https://twitter.com/EmojiTetra/status/986827445251616769
2 Animal 28th April 2018 6th May 2018 6800 769.811 Building a non-edge I-well (5 deep) above 4 rows of scattered holes
3 Books 6th May 2018 10th May 2018 2200 638.71 mix of scattered holes (3 of them) and two different I-wells (3 deep each, one edge, one not)
4 Aquatic 10th May 2018 12th May 2018 900 453.147 non-center I-well (3deep) and then 6 rows of scattered holes Lowest score till game 53
5 Hearts 12th May 2018 27th May 2018 13850 891.153 5 deep left edge well, with a scattered hole below, and several above New high score. Board style changed on the 22nd: https://twitter.com/EmojiTetra/status/998831537196908549
6 Clothing 27th May 2018 1st July 2018 41275 1218.95 6 deep right-edge well above two lines of scattered holes, and capped Bug caused in-game delay at GAMEOVER screen (how long?). New high score. Board style changed on 5th June: https://twitter.com/EmojiTetra/status/1003930144908558336
7 Plants 1st July 2018 5th July 2018 3675 1006.08 full height edge well on the right
8 Fruit 5th July 2018 16th July 2018 13725 1154.44 Fastest start to a game to date due to empty board bonus on poll 20
9 Hearts 16th July 2018 8th August 2018 26650 1158
10 Animals 8th August 2018 27th August 2018 20075 1173.21 Game paused for 24h on 2018-08-14
11 Aquatic 27th August 2018 5th September 2018 11925 1221.34
12 Books 5th September 2018 11th September 2018 6300 1074.88
13 Plants 11th September 2018 15th September 2018 3950 1019.35
14 Hearts 15th September 2018 19th September 2018 3225 900
15 Clothing 19th September 2018 1 January 2019 127400 1229.27 Altered to a Halloween theme over Halloween and Christmas theme over Christmas. First game to have a >4 run of same-piece. Had a run of 5 and a run of 8. See EmojiTetra/DeepStatistics for more info. First game with multiple all-clears. New high score.
16 Plants 1st January 2019 17th January 2019 20050 1234.9 First game to score uninterrupted sequential tetras. Initially Christmas theme chosen randomly, then re-randomised to plant. First game to recover from a 50-full near-death board experience
17 Aquatic 17th January 2019 6 February 2019 23500 1177.45
18 Plants 6th February 2019 17th February 2019 11975 1087.26 Feature add on 10/Feb: Intermediate board showing cleared lines
19 Books 17th February 2019 10th March 2019 26200 1262.65 First 1100 empty board bonus. Fastest first 24 hours, due to a tetra on poll 43 and then an empty board bonus on poll 51
20 Hearts 10th March 2019 19th March 2019 10450 1076.39 Greatest save - from a board fill of 52
21 Fruits 19th March 2019 2nd April 2019 15775 1189.32
22 Aquatic 2nd April 2019 6th April 2019 4775 1038.67
23 Animals 6th April 2019 3rd May 2019 31800 1206.32 Happy Birthday. New record of most single-line-clears in a row (20) at end of game.
24 Aquatic 3rd May 2019 11 May 2019 8300 1094.51
25 Animals 11th May 2019 10th July 2019 75350 1256.71 First triple-line board clear. Highest scoring rate game to date
26 Plants 10th July 2019 31 July 2019 25700 1191.5 A 14 run of S/Z/O only made lineclearing difficult
27 Aquatic 31 July 2019 23 Aug 2019 27275 1188.02 Best scoring Aquatic game yet
28 Animals 23 August 2019 10 Sept 2019 20475 1164.45
29 Books 10 Sept 2019 29 Sept 2019 23625 1229.93 Smartly survived a 53-full for a further 37 hours, yet threw it away with a couple of foolish poll result. I'm not bitter. Nonetheless our first notable "last stand"
30 Fruit 29 Sept 2019 9 Oct 2018 11050 1103.47 Another fantastic "last stand"
31 Plants 29 Sept 2019 8 Nov 2019 35950 1206.71
32 Clothing 8 Nov 2019 13 Dec 2019 41325 1235.63
33 Books 13 Dec 2019 15 Dec 2019 1700 715.789
34 Animals 15 Dec 2019 13 Feb 2020 68625 1199.56
35 Books 13 Feb 2020 18 Feb 2020 8050 1271.05
36 Hearts 18 Feb 2020 6 Apr 2020 58375 1220.74 Several "great escapes" in the first few weeks. @EmojiTetraFast began in ...march(?)
37 Animals 6 Apr 2020 20 May 2020 52300 1186.76
38 Hearts 20 May 2020 23 June 2020 40050 ...automation broken as of 2nd June (score 16500) (this is more note to self, sorry)
39 Hearts 23 June 2020 6 July 2020 14125
40 Books 6 July 2020 16 July 2020 11925
41 Plants 16 July 2020 29 July 2020 15100
42 Plants 29 July 2020 31 July 2020 2925
43 Aquatic 31 July 2020 2 Aug 2020 1325
44 Aquatic 2 August 2020 27 Aug 2020 29600
45 Hearts 27 August 2020 5 Sept 2020 8725
46 Animals 5 Sept 2020 7 Sept 2020 2325
47 Books 7 Sept 2020 9 Sept 2020 2100 fast start: all-clear on the 28th poll and fastest collapse - empty board to gameover in 650 points
48 Clothing 9 Sept 2020 26 Sept 2020 20550
49 Animals 26 Sept 2020 2 Nov 2020 41575
50 Aquatic 2 Nov 2020 9 Nov 2020 6825
51 Books 9 Nov 2020 13 Dec 2020 43975 disappointing ending: threw away a game-saving tetra for a GameOver
52 Books 13 Dec 2020 24 Dec 2020 12625
53 Books 24 Dec 2020 25 Dec 2020 400 With twin edge columns, this game made a serious attempt to end without even scoring Lowest score
54 Fruit 25 Dec 2020 4 Feb 2021 49600
55 Animals 4 Feb 2021 16 Feb 2020 13525 Some awful late-game decisions robbed the collective of several opportunities to gain extra points and possibly save the game
56 Plants 16 Feb 2021 25 March 2021 45575
57 Clothing 25 March 2021 Current Game ... First game to get a Unicorn!

Note: my timezone is UTC+10 and my dates reflect that. I hope to direct link to tweets sufficient that they can be used for exact time lookups if needed

Board styles / known feature changes

  1. Start of Game 1 from the 16 April 2018: score in blocks, then unicode SOON, then linedrawing to illustrate NEXT piece
  2. During Game 1 on the 19 April: unicode SOON replaced with unicode F-FWD
  3. During Game 5 on the 22 May: Literal "Next", then braille indicator of next piece. Then literal "Score" in and score in plain text
  4. During Game 6 on 5 June: "Next" and score moved to right of board. Next illustrated with emoji same as board
  5. During Game 18 on 10 Feb: "The bot will now tweet a rendition of the game grid with filled rows marked as disappearing, with the score benefit shown." - https://twitter.com/emojitetra/status/1094340439849615360

Notable events

Empty Board Bonus

Game Piece Date/link Score Notes
6 T 15 June 2018 +1250 First all-clear.
8 T 5 July 2018 +1250
15 L 8 Nov 2018 +1250
15 T 5 Dec 2018 +1250
15 J 5 Dec 2018 +1250 Achieved a second all-clear within 8 hours!
17 L 1 Feb 2019 +1250
19 I 17 Feb 2019 +1100 First single-line all-clear
25 J 24 May 2019 +1525 First triple-line all-clear
25 J 18 June 2019 +1250
25 I 24 June 2019 +1100
32 J 28 Nov 2019 +1250
34 J 11 Jan 2020 +1250
35 J 15 Feb 2020 +1250

All-clears are achieved on average every 6-8 weeks, but if game play and RNG pieces align, are theoretically possible every 7th piece (as occurred on the 5th of Dec with pieces: "IIIJITJ"

In Late May 2019, I (Nemo) decided to push the all-clear tactic, believing we could move from every 6-8 weeks to every 10days or so. In the following 35 days we got two only 6 days apart, but then none for 5 months!

Awesome moves

For those times we manage to fill in overhangs, T-spins and I-spins

    • TODO

Longest activity on the same piece

In the long run, we average about 4 polls per piece (4.14). Here are the times we've taken over 4 hours for a single piece. 13+ polls...

Start date/tweet Game Poll count Spins ("Rotate" polls) Notes
2018-04-28T07:02:42+10:00 G2 13 T: Down, Rotate, Rotate, Rotate, Left, Down, Right, Right, Down, Down, Down, Down, Plummet (note: plummet-after-down option not yet available in game)
2018-05-22T20:42:41+10:00 G5 14 J: Right, Right, Down, Rotate, Left, Left, Down, Down Down, Left, Left, Rotate, Rotate, Plummet
2018-07-28T15:42:47+10:00 G9 15 2.75 (11) L
2018-08-18T10:02:20+10:00 G10 15 2.75 (11) L
2018-09-25T23:42:43+10:00 G15 17 3.5 (14) J
2018-09-30T04:02:38+10:00 G15 17 3.25 (13) T
2018-12-03T12:02:38+10:00 G15 15 3 (12) J
2018-12-15T15:23:34+10:00 G15 16 3.25 (13) J
2018-12-29T20:22:38+10:00 G15 20 4.5 (18) L
2019-01-18T06:22:38+10:00 G17 13 J
2019-03-06T23:42:46+10:00 G19 15 L
2019-03-26T07:22:53+10:00 G21 19 4 (16) T: Rotate(x16), Left, Down, Plummet
2019-03-26T23:02:39+10:00 G21 16 S
2019-05-07T23:42:39+10:00 G24 15 L
2019-05-27T15:42:38+10:00 G25 19 4 (16) L: Rotate(x16), Right, Right, Plummet
2019-07-07T17:22:46+10:00 G25 15 J
2019-07-09T04:23:20+10:00 G25 13 T
2019-07-16T21:02:48+10:00 G26 17 J
2019-10-02T10:42:46+10:00 G30 13 J
2019-10-10T00:02:46+10:00 G31 13 T
2019-10-18T23:02:46+10:00 G31 15 L
2019-11-03T09:42:45+10:00 G31 13 L
2019-12-03T07:22:46+10:00 G32 15 L
2019-12-26T20:42:46+10:00 G34 14 J
2020-01-26T08:22:46+10:00 G34 13 T

Great Escapes

When The End Is Nigh - and then it wasn't. This is the list of times we've filled the board to 45 or more static pieces, and subsequently recovered to under 30. "Saved to" is measured as the board fill after clearing lines, to the point where two pieces in a row begin to stack again.

date/tweet Game Saved from Saved to Notes
15 May 2018 45 18 Stumbled from 45 to 35 to 43 to 33 to 42 before clearing to 18
21 May 2018 46 3
8 June 2018 45 19
21 June 2018 48 29 29 according to the rules laid out above, but we made it down to 16 before the next escape only a few days later
23 June 2018 48 15 Stumbled from 48 to 31 to 39 to 15
24 July 2018 49 15
5 Sept 2018 48 not a real save - we saved to 31 and then crashed and died 12 hours later
4 Oct 2018 47 5 achieved 46 to 5 with sequential pieces
5 Nov 2018 48 28 actually made it down to 19 before the next day's escape
6 Nov 2018 46 9 46 to 9 in three sequential pieces
13 Jan 2019 50 1 bounced from 50 down to 44 up to 49 over 6 hours, before the save
11 March 2019 Game20 52 22 We had a 25piece I/L drought, and 21piece I/L/S drought. Both record breaking. 12 non-scoring pieces in a row (an equal record)
25 May 2019 Game 25 45 21 No clearing due to RNG, but we built clean on the edge. Then an I to clear four (simultaneously making this the fastest game to 19000 score)
11 June 2019 Game 25 46 19 We had a disproportionately large run of O leading to a build up of holes
2 July 2019 Game 25 45 27 bad RNG and choices - we steady filled from 5 to 45
12 Nov 2019 Game 32 47 24 very quick recovery
9 Feb 2020 Game 34 48 22 big clean with a triple, however the game nonetheless ended shortly after (within 36 hours)
25 Feb 2020 Game 36 45
3 March 2020 Game 36 50 A real mess which we got lucky cleaning up from

Last Stands

When The End Is Nigh ...for sooooo long, before we succumb. These are the great not-escapes. Where we reach gameover level board, and continue seemingly improbably extra time.

date/tweet Game Peak fill Time lived (pieces) Notes
28 Sept 2019 Game 29 53 28 No 53-full had never previously lasted more than 6 pieces. This lasted 28, and an astonishing 37 hours before the game ended needlessly with foolish voting. Despite not achieving better than 35-full and ultimately ending the game, the longevity is notable enough to include here
8 Oct 2019 Game 30 51 22 Previously, only G20 had escaped a 51-full, and G29 managed a 51+ full great escape. Every other 51-full had ended within 9 pieces, usually 3. Game30 lasted 22 pieces. No mistakes led to gameover, just unavoidable eventual poor pieces from the RNG

Other Greats

Magnificent moves which show how skillful the collective can be - especially when a non-obvious move is sufficiently spruiked into awareness. I call these: #AwesomePlan

Other weird

Split clears are times when a double or triple occurs on non-sequential lines. Only possible with L/J/I for split doubles, and I for split-singles.

Since the line-clear-indicator tweets began on the 10th of Feb 2019, we have only had 7 split-clears - 6 doubles and 1 triple. By comparison, in the same time we had 3 all-clears and 9 tetras.

Scoring rate

Scoring rate vs total

Real world analysis

There is reasonable correlation with better scoring rates, and better scores. Indeed, as of writing (G24 just begun), there are 11 games with a rate above 1100/day - these have a min score of 11925 (avg: 32580), whilst 12 games below that rate have a maximum at merely 13850 (avg: 6373)

Within reason, this seems logical. Smart play is required for long games, but also improves on scoring rate by seeing non-obvious combinations of the current+next piece to score doubles and triples, where more naive play (as the hive often does) will seek singles only. Conversely, simple "just get singles" non-aggressive play will often result in situations where, thanks to a run of awkward pieces, the board gets messy and the hive simply hasn't learnt and practiced the skills to navigate out.

Scoring faster means playing smarter. Playing smarter means playing longer and getting bigger totals.

Hypothetical maximums

Hypothetically, the maximum scoring rate with ideal pieces is a board-emptying tetra. 2000 points every 7th piece. I believe the fastest this could be done is with 6 "O" and then one "I" bar. This would be nearly 7579 points per day - or over 6.3x our normal scoring rate of approx 1200points/day

At our normal randomised piece rate of placement, 2000/7pieces would still be approx 4x our normal scoring rate. But that is also impossible in practice, since it relies on us being able to build a 6wide 4high tower every 6 pieces, and then have an I to score the emptying tetra every 7th piece. In practice of course, we only get an I as the 7th piece 1/7th of the time. We also cannot get an empty board every 7th piece, even if we had prescient knowledge of the future. However, I think it should be possible to get approx 2x our native scoring rate from smart piece placement alone. How? By targetting the empty board bonus via full clears as the default tactic. This should be safe as it's a tactic which inherently means we keep the board low, we have a regular "seventh piece" cycle to play to, and if we build clean, then we should get plenty of doubles and triples and occasional tetras the rest of the time.

Safer AND faster scoring rate. What's not to love?

Without a way to play solo and test tactics, this is theoretical only. (A javascript implementation to allow faster one-person play would be great as a practice/education tool. Could even feed it the official game piece order for direct comparisons with the hive?)

My Terminology

(note: this is what I endeavour to use, and while I encourage others to use, it is in no way formal or endorsed. Most of it is what is commonly used already)

  • board: play area (7x11 squares)
  • column: a vertical sequence on the board from top to bottom (11 spots)
  • line/row: a horizontal sequence on the board from left to right (7 spots)
  • clear - to clear some rows (see also: full clear - to clear ALL rows)
  • single/double/triple: to clear 1/2/3 line(s)
  • tetra/quad/tetris: to clear 4 lines
  • electorate/collective/crowd/hive: everyone who votes
  • hole: an unfilled space that is surrounded on all sides and above
  • overhang: an unfilled spare that is covered at top, but open to the side and can be underfilled with a side-slide
    • awkward overhang - an overhang that cannot be underfilled, so looks like an overhang, but acts as a hole.
  • clean - board without holes. as in "the board is clean" and "this is a clean drop"
    • question: is a half-hole a clean board?
  • dirty - opposite of clean: a board with a hole. "the board is dirty". "this is a dirty drop"
  • silhouette/skyline: the shape of the top surface
  • well: a deep part of the skyline requiring a J/L or I to fill.
    • May also be called a hole. Esp I-hole
  • empty board: nothing on the board. (a perfectly flat skyline, as per the start of a game)
    • I prefer 'empty' to avoid possible ambiguity with clear or clean
  • full clear - the move that achieves an empty board
  • stale/fossilised - to refer to how long a row has remained unchanged
  • momentary hole - a hole which is created with the placement of one piece, with the knowledge that it will be uncovered with the very next (already known!) piece.
  • ghost hole - a hole which will only appear to exist but the placement of the piece that creates it, in fact clears a line that uncovers it. Hence it never really exists.


During the 2020 coronis pandemic, a new 10minute game began. I am not currently tracking details on this, however here are start/end tweets per game of it to allow thread finding for future automation potential




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