Is it Tetris? Why is it wet? I still don’t know.
I remember being in a Best Buy on a random Tuesday when I was 9 or 10 years old. Looking through all of the games that were available for the Nintendo 64, we somehow walked out with Wetrix. I’m still not sure if I picked it out or if my mom made the suggestion, but there’s something to both theories. I think my incentive may have been to get the game and hopefully encourage my mom to play games with my brother and I, as she had with Tetris on the NES.
It’s been the better part of two decades now, and I still can’t complete a level in this game. From what I gather, the idea is to collect falling water and then evaporate said water. During the progression of time, you are given several different options to fill in the grid space provided. Much like Tetris, you can see which options are incoming along the right side of the window, and you can try to plan for what is to come.
All I was ever able to do was build small walls around the perimeter and collect some water in the center. However, water would quickly spill over despite my craftsmanship or a bomb would blast a hole in the center of the grid. Any water spilling over the side will fill a meter, and once the meter is filled: you lose.
I still have the game today, and whenever I plug my old N64 in, Wetrix falls into the rotation of carts that I relive for a few hours. I don’t get it. My mom and I tried to play the game a bunch when we first bought it, and I think she did okay at it, but I still don’t get it.
Despite my struggles, I think that Wetrix still has something to it. It’s really a weird game, that starts with the idea of Tetris and adds layers of puzzles across multiple axes. It brings 2D drop puzzles into the third dimension, and does so with a build and destroy mechanic that is rewarding just by itself.
I think the construction of the pools or walls that I spent time doing was what kept me happy with my purchase. Just building these things and seeing if I could improve my score or go any further was fun in the little bursts that I would play.
You can likely find a cartridge for this game at a low enough cost to try it out. The music is really great and makes you feel like what you’re doing while playing is the most intense life or death kind of action. Give it a try and let me know what you think of it in the comments below. Get used to the Game Over screen and please tell me if you figure out how to make any progress.