Apple built a Tetris clone for the iPod but never released it

Apple built a Tetris clone for the iPod but never released it

Apple once designed a Tetris clone that has been found on a prototype version of the third-generation iPod, indicating the company was experimenting with releasing the game on the music player. It’s called Stacker and, obviously, is controlled via the iPod’s scroll wheel. The software was spotted by , who is known for finding rare prototype devices.

The prototype iPod is a “DVT” device, meaning it was a mid-stage device that was still in “Design Validation Testing.” It has a model number of A1023, which is not a known model number of any iPod version.

The device runs a prototype version of iPodOS 2.0, which is where Stacker comes from. The pieces are moved from left to right using the scroll wheel and they fall when the middle button is pressed. The goal is to clear lines and score points. You know the deal. It’s Tetris.

It’s not the only game found on the prototype iPod. There’s something called Block0, which is likely an early version of Brick. The device also features a game called Klondike, which is likely an early version of Solitaire. The music player did eventually get some games, including the aforementioned Solitaire and Brick. AppleDemoYT asked former Apple VP Tony Fadell why Stacker was never released and he said it was because games didn’t show up until a “later software release.”

Later versions of the iPod got an official version of Tetris, in addition to games like Bejeweled, Mini Golf, Mahjong, Zuma, Cubis 2, and Pac-Man. All of these releases predate the App Store. The iPod Classic was discontinued in 2014 and the iPod Touch in 2022, ending the era of the standalone music player.

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