Time for the exciting, fast-paced puzzle game where we try to... uh... save... all the... water...?
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I'm Gaming Jay: Youtube gamer, let's player, fan of retro games, and determined optimist... Join me in this series while I try out EACH of the video games in the book 1001 VIDEO GAMES YOU MUST PLAY BEFORE YOU DIE, before I die. The game review for each game will focus on the question of whether you MUST play this game before you die. But to be honest, the game review parts are just for fun, and are not meant to be definitive, in depth reviews; this series is more about the YouTube gamer journey itself. From Mario games to the Halo series, from arcade games to Commodore 64, PC games to the NES and Sega Genesis, Playstation to the Xbox, let's play those classic retro games that we grew up with, have fond memories of, or heard of but never got a chance to try! And with that said, the game review for today is...
Developer(s) Zed Two
Platform(s) N64, Game Boy Color, Windows, Dreamcast
At first glance, Wetrix looks like a 3D version of Tetris. Blocks are randomly falling from the sky on a square field and the player has the option to rotate the blocks and drop them strategically on the field. However, that's about where the similarities end. In Tetris the goal is to constantly eliminate the blocks by completing flawless rows (which then disappear), in Wetrix the goal is quite different. Essentially, your task is to place the falling blocks in such a way as to build up valleys in which you can store falling water, which you can then later, evaporate...
To be honest, I'm not quite sure why we're saving water only to evaporate it moments later. Maybe the Wetrix gods got bored one day and just decided to watch some water do stuff, but I suppose there aren't really convincing back stories to most puzzle games so let's let that one slide. My bigger issues with Wetrix come from the difficulty in seeing what's actually going on and in easily observing the playing field. You see, in Wetrix, when you drop a block, you don't end up seeing a series of stacked blocks, which clearly demarcate how many layers tall you've built and exactly what shape of a valley you've constructed. Instead, dropped blocks end up molding the field, creating smooth hills. I'm sure this was done to show off the 3D capabilities of the N64 for the time, but as I was playing the game this just made it hard to full make out what was happening on the field. On top of that, the fact that I was building up hills on the field meant that the distant parts of the field were obscured, and overall it was hard to see where the water was actually landing and flowing around on the field, and hence, it was hard to see when I had a leak or where I even had a leak, and thus, it was hard to gauge my progress or lack thereof.
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