Oh no, you may’t skip the tutorial
Wetrix was an simply missed little puzzler. Launched in 1998 for the N64 earlier than getting ported to PC and Dreamcast, it was unconventional, to say the least. Whereas the identify might be alleged to remind you of Tetris, there’s much more to it than attempting to wipe out a wall of tetrominoes. The objective is to wall up areas to carry water, and doing a very good job rewards you with geese. I believe we are able to all agree that geese are a reasonably nice reward. They’re like chill geese that gained’t drag your youngster away.
If Wetrix was simply missed, its 2000 sequel blended in with the carpeting. Regardless of having fun with the unique and figuring out the existence of a follow-up, I solely just lately bought round to attempting it. That’s as a result of it’s not named Wetrix 2 in North America. It’s Aqua Aqua.
Uppers, downers, lefters, righters
To be clear, it’s solely Aqua Aqua in North America. In Europe, it was Aqua Aqua: Wetrix 2.0, which will get the purpose quite a bit clearer. Then again, Japan had the stylized Aquaqua, which is barely extra enjoyable to say. “A-kwa-kwa.”
The field artwork was additionally terrible in North America. If the identify wasn’t unrecognizable sufficient, the duvet appears to be like prefer it belongs on the backside of a cut price bin. The sport, alternatively, doesn’t belong there. I imply, so long as you want Wetrix, it doesn’t. And it’s best to.
I outlined the fundamentals above, and that largely stays correct. In truth, I’m scouring my mind for any main variations between Wetrix and Aqua Aqua, and I’m arising with bupkiss. You make ponds. Apart from this time, your reward varies relying on the board you’re enjoying on. Generally it’s dinosaurs, and dinosaurs are practically as superior as geese.
You’re given a sq. of land to construct on, and also you create your swimming pools by setting numerous block shapes on it that fall from the sky. These “uppers” aren’t the one issues that drop on you, nonetheless. There are additionally “downers,” bombs, fireplace, water, and ice. It’s important to handle all these numerous terrain movers to create the most important, deepest swimming pools in your dinosaurs.
Really, saying “largest, deepest,” swimming pools is likely to be a bit inaccurate. Scoring is a little bit of a thriller in Aqua Aqua, even after enjoying the tutorial. Basically, factors are scored for many actions you are taking, whether or not it’s fixing a gap within the panorama or dropping sufficient uppers. To get greater scores, you’ll want to construct your multiplier, and there’s a slew of the way to do that.
Probably the most apparent is just by having extra lakes. Whereas having one large physique of water has its benefits, extra lakes will enhance your multiplier. Having a specific amount of depth in certainly one of these lakes may even entice the aforementioned “lake mates” like dinosaurs. They’re multipliers too. When you’ve got sufficient water in your board, a rainbow will stretch throughout; that’s one other multiplier. Lastly, clearing water by dropping fireplace on it would land you with an merchandise in your bingo board. Finishing strains will do numerous issues like… enhance you multiplier.
Aqua Aqua is extra of an artwork than a science. It’s laborious to be precise with it, however the principle think about deciding your success just isn’t spilling a number of water. As you spill water, a gauge fills, and when it’s at most, the spherical is over. The gauge additionally depletes, so dropping a little bit of liquid isn’t the top of the world.
Geese and Dinosaurs
One of many important new additions to Aqua Aqua is a narrative mode. Effectively, “Story” is a little bit beneficiant, but it surely provides you a collection of ranges to play by. 4 to be precise, which isn’t quite a bit and gained’t take you very lengthy supplied the fundamentals of methods to play. The fundamentals are one thing you have to know going into the story mode as a result of it’s not unlocked till you play by an excruciating tutorial. Nonetheless, there may be motivation to pursue greater scores on every of the phases.
The principle wrinkle right here is twofold. First, the matches aren’t countless. Survive for sufficient time, and it ends. Second, there are monsters who will often bombard your panorama. By getting sufficient factors within the time earlier than they present up, you may block their assaults, however even when they do hit you, it isn’t the top of the match. Normally, it’s going to simply jazz up your panorama a bit.
Watch out, nonetheless, in case your aquascaping will get a bit too undulating, you’ll set off an earthquake. Whereas these are survivable, they’re fairly devastating. You’ll have to pop some downers to forestall your board from turning into too bumpy. It’s a reasonably good mechanic that rounds out the ability you’ll have to maintain water held in.
One other Wetrix
Aqua Aqua, and by extension, Wetrix, isn’t my favourite puzzle recreation, but it surely’s a pleasant deviation from block stacking and bit matching. There’s an absence of precision in a number of its mechanics, but it surely’s easy-going sufficient to make up for these. Constructing ponds isn’t precisely as stress-free because it sounds, but it surely’s enjoyable, particularly in case you have a second participant to affix in.
Then again, Aqua Aqua doesn’t actually make a lot of a case for being a sequel. There have been some new options deliberate, like the flexibility to increase the dimensions of your board, but it surely was scrapped, and nothing was actually dropped instead of it. There are these disgusting goblin issues that roam across the display, however they’re higher off ignored. As a substitute, it’s principally simply Wetrix once more, which is okay as a result of it’s a reasonably first rate recreation. I want there have been nicer, extra feature-packed fashionable ports, however Aqua Aqua was the final we’d see of the collection.
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