There's An Easter Egg On Russian Vans That Lets You Play Tetris On The Dashboard

Ever since Warren Robinett hid his name in the Atari 2600 game Adventure, there’s been a rich and wonderful tradition of developers hiding little fun secret things in computer software. This one, found on Russian-made GAZelle Next vans and trucks, is especially good: you can play Tetris on the little dot-matrix screen in the instrument cluster. It’s perfect.

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Tetris, the archetypal Russian game, played on a Russian van’s dash is probably one of the best, most gleefully absurd automotive/video gaming combined experiences a person can have.

Here, watch the magic happen:

I’ve taken the liberty of robo-translating the instructions for you, in case you happen to be near a (new, I’m guessing?) GAZelle Next and and need a falling-block fix:

1) Turn the ignition on 2) Start a car 3) Activate the right turn signal for three blinks 4) Two click the trip odometer reset twice (the computer translated this as “two times distant,” but this is what I think that means5) Push the clutch five times 6) Rev the engine to 2000 RPM while turning on the left turn indicator

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How the hell did anyone figure this out? I’m guessing one of the developers of the firmware in that display module had to have talked, because that’s a lot of improbable and convoluted steps to take. Way more so than, say, the Konami Code.

I just love that this exists. And it’s probably no more dangerous to play while driving than texting is, really.

(Thanks, Tyler!)

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus, 2020 Changli EV • Not-so-running: 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!: https://rb.gy/udnqhh)

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jalapenoman
Jalapenoman

In Russia, Tetris plays you. Brings new meaning to Car Tetris.