Thread in 'Other games' started by PetitPrince, 26 Aug 2007.

  1. I got hooked yesterday by Wetrix.


    Wetrix, puzzle game released on PC / Nintendo 64 / Dreamcast / PS2 between 2001 (the PS2 opus) and 1998 (the others), is not a puzzle game with Weetabix inside nor a porn clone of Matrix.

    In fact, I first thought of Populous when I tried it, even if there isn't any connection with the god-game (except for the sideway view of the playfield). Like almost any game that try to make puns with the soviet mind game, you've got pieces that fall in Wetrix. There are five types of pieces in that game: the terrain modifier ("uppers" and "downers") that comes in 4 different shapes. The TGM part of myself is grumpy about the fact that you can only rotate clockwise, but one can quickly overcome that with experience. Then there's bombs, nasty things that make holes in the playfield (that we can fill with uppers). And at last there's water bubbles and fireballs, which leads me to the goal of the game.

    Like any good puzzle game, the goal is pretty simple. With uppers/downer, the player builds puddles/pools/lakes/oceans*. The water bubbles fills them with... water and the fireball evaporates them, awarding at the same time point. If water leaks over the playfield, it fills a "drain" meter that can lead to a game over if it tops out.

    There's tons of things that makes Wetrix pleasant. First of all, if no name is submitted in case of high score, the following entry is named "too lazy". The text looks and feels like a pure N64 game (in all version). And there's that ultimate feature: to multiply the evaporation score, you can create yellow rubber duckys, which is incredibly cool, complete with adorable quacks <3.


    Wetrix is a score game, but it's pretty hard to make a decent one. Even if you fill a respectable surface of water and evaporate it, you only earns something like a thousand of points. The highscore are at something like millions. The secret of the game is how you manage your bonus multiplier. The most important is the RAINBOW MULTIPLIER** , that happens when you packs a huge amount of water in the playfied. That multiply the evaporation point by 10. Then there's the numbers of lakes you create, and at least the duckys <3. To multiply the multiplier is essential, so you can reach nice things like 1241*10*4*6 (297'840).

    But that's not easy, because there are several flaws in this game. Precision is a problem without a good amount of practice. In the middle/end of the game, visibility is also a problem. True, there's a shadow that shows you where the piece will fall, but most of the time it is hid by the reflection of the water. The camera placement is not optimal. On N64, you can correct it thanks to the C-buttons. On Dreamcast, the angle is good but on PC, it is a little bit too sharp. A minimap would have been a good idea, so one could see where the water leaks without being hidden by a mountain (sometimes you get a game over and you can't just see why, which is pretty frustrating).

    Later in the game there's also iceblocks that freeze water, mines that are even shittier than bombs. There's also a consistent rain that prevents the player from focusing into one unique basin and forces him to considers the playfield as a whole. And there's an earthquake meter that prevents the player from overstacking.

    The game is pretty repetitive and there isn't any big subtlety (three ducky bains in the corner, a bomb corner at the bottom, the rest of the playfield is for the main giant basin), but for some reason I keep playing, even when I though to leave the game alone because it is repetitive and there isn't any big subtlety. Anyway, my personal highscore in classic mode is 356'320, but good players can reach millions, and there's a master grade at the billion. There's still a progression margin for me I think ^^.

    The PC version is available at the underdogs and runs well. The N64 version is unplayable on emulation because it is too fast and the backgrounds are not correctly rendered (epileptic people beware: some backgrounds made my eyes bleed). The Dreamcast version can run with buggy sounds on nullDC.

    *interpretation may vary according to the megalomania of the player

    * isn't that also adorable ? A game with a "RAINBOW MULTIPLIER" ?
  2. tepples

    tepples Lockjaw developer

    That's not a blue Kirby on the box, is it? [​IMG]
  3. Lolo?
  4. @petitprince: cool review - i will now try it again. i did know about wetrix for some years now, but never really played it.
  5. Air Gear

    Air Gear Unregistered

    Oh yeah, Wetrix is pretty cool. One of the fun things about the N64 version is that, once you do well enough (or, in my case, when you use an emulator cheat to do it), the game unlocks four alternate piece sets for you to play with. The last two are absurd, containing things like uppers and downers on the same piece, or uppers and water, or a bomb and a fireball...basically impossible to play, but hey, that's why the TAS has been invented, right?

    The game does get repetitive if you keep the same strategy going for awhile, but the idea is to keep changing that strategy around until you're optimized. I know back in the day my basic strategy usually ended up with me playing with 5 ducks (sometimes I got 6) and my PC-version high score was around 14M after screwing up a few minutes into level 10; one girl I knew used to get as many as 12 ducks in play with a perpetual Rainbow Multiplier


    and pulled around 205M as a best.

    Lastly, this is a game that needs to be remade; perhaps a DS homebrew remake that fixes some of the mistakes made would be cool...
  6. tepples

    tepples Lockjaw developer

    DS homebrew would be difficult. The playfield is 32x32 cells, and you'd need at least two triangles per cell to draw everything. But the Nintendo DS 3D hardware has only enough geometry RAM for 2,048 triangles per scene, which is just barely enough to render the field without the things falling onto it. Besides, is the game model of Wetrix documented nearly as thoroughly as that of Tetris?
  7. Air Gear

    Air Gear Unregistered

    Yeah, it'd be hard to do. As for the game model...not even remotely. The idea wouldn't be to make it a perfect replica of the original but to make an improvement on the original, so...nothing wrong if it doesn't work the same way. In fact, chances are it won't work the same way.
  8. Funny, i read about it in this article yesterday. I played it when i was very young and sucked at it [​IMG]
  9. Hehe, that was with that article that I discovered Wetrix in the first place [​IMG] .
  10. Udy

    Udy Unregistered

    I just got a Dreamcast again and year son Wetrix is still awesome, remember sitting with friends playing for about 90 minutes each just tranfixed. Hoping that one of them wouldn't beat myscore cos it'd be hours until my next go!
  11. I was once addicted to Wetrix for N64. My favorite part of the game was seeing just how many duckies I could fit on the board (I think seven or eight was the most I could keep stable). It had a cool soundtrack, and the earthquake/ice/spikes/trash and bomb systems made for interesting techniques and deep gameplay. It was fun coming up with new tactics to account for all the problems that can happen.
  12. DeHackEd

    DeHackEd green Gm

    For those of you who didn't know, there's a TAS version, which utterly rapes the 1 minute challenge.

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