Ultra-Rare Tengen Tetris Prototype Up For Auction

An important relic of video game history

Tengen Tetris is one of the rarest, if not the rarest, NES cartridges out there. It was released way back in 1989 but after only a month on the shelves, unsold copies of the game were recalled - a shame considering many felt it was the better version of the game due to its improved graphics and two-player mode.

It all came down to who had the licensing rights to the game - Nintendo or Tengen (an Atari brand). Through a bizarre turn of events it turned out Nintendo were awarded the rights to publish the console version while Atari only had the rights to make the arcade edition. Tengen were therefore forced to recall and destroy all unsold copies making it one heck of a collector’s item.

You’d think it wouldn’t get much rarer than that, but a prototype copy of the game has emerged – and it’s being sold at auction right now.

Housed on a Duck Hunt cartridge, the prototype clearly displays ‘Licensed by Nintendo of America’ on the title screen and is an artefact of video game history.

You can put a bid in on the prototype right now, but we have a feeling this one’s going to bring in the big bucks by the time it closes.

Any of you remember this one? Will you be putting in a bid?

Thanks to Patrick Scott Patterson for the tip.

[via gamegavel.com]