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As the Dreamcast's first U.S. puzzle game, Wetrix+ involves manipulating falling pieces over a 3D landscape. Sound familiar? Well, the twist is that you are trying to position these pieces in such a way as to hold as much water as possible. Each game begins with a flat area of land floating in the middle of the screen. Unless the player builds raised edges to store water, the liquid will trickle down the edges and gradually fill a vertical meter called the Drain. If too much water spills off the playing area, the Drain will overflow and the game is over.
An update of 1997's Wetrix, which was released on the Nintendo 64 and PC platforms, Wetrix+ features six modes of play: Classic, Pro, Practice, Challenge, Handicap and Multi-play. No matter which mode you choose, you'll have to manipulate seven pieces: Uppers, which raise the landscape after they are placed on the playing field; Downers, which lower the landscape to help reduce the height of certain sections on the playing field; Water Bubbles that will turn into pools of water once they are positioned on the landscape; Fireballs that evaporate any water they touch; Bombs, which cause the landscape to have holes once they land; Ice Cubes, which freeze the water for a short time; and Mystery Pieces that will combine multiple objects!
Besides positioning pieces over the landscape, players have to watch out for different events that will influence play. Earthquakes can occur whenever there is too much land at any given time; unless the player uses Downers or Bombs to help reduce the topography, the entire playing field will shake and wreak havoc on the landscape. Re-Bombs are events triggered by placing a bomb over an area already destroyed by a previous bomb. The end-result is a shower of bombs raining down from the sky!
Other events include Rubber Duckies, little yellow ducks that appear once the water reaches a certain level (they serve as bonus point multipliers); Mines, harmless floating explosives that eventually disappear unless the water has been drained (then they function as normal bombs); Smart Bombs, which eliminate everything from the screen so the player can start fresh from a clear landscape; and Rainbows, which appear over the playing field once the water has reached a certain volume. All actions taken while a rainbow is present are multiplied by ten!
For those having trouble with the Classic and Pro modes, a Practice mode is available that offers a series of eight lessons to help explain each piece as well as different strategies needed to rack up the points. Challenge mode is designed to test expert players in how long they can last in six different scenarios: 1 Minute Challenge, 5 Minute Challenge, 100 Piece Challenge, 500 Piece Challenge, Preset Sequence A and Preset Sequence B. Handicap mode offers an additional seven scenarios that feature events such as ice layers, raised land, a half-full drain or random holes. It's your job to dig yourself out of these predicaments! ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide