I’ve been collecting Tetris games for a while now, and I recently stumbled upon this game called Welltris on Atari ST. Since I was quite new to the Atari ST and only had around 4 or 5 games for it I thought why not! So I picked it up from eBay :) I wasn’t quite sure whether or not to include it in my Tetris Collection since it’s not called “Tetris”, and it’s not the typical 2D-type falling blocks that Tetris is all about. Because I don’t want to have to include games like Block Out that is completely 3D and not called Tetris or Panel de Pon which have different shapes and functions than Tetris, you just switch places of blocks of the same color to try and match them and it builds up from below. If I would add these then I could basically add ANY puzzle game out there, like Tsuyoshi Shikari Shinasai which is one of my favorites, that works kind of like Puyo Puyo, but these games are NOT Tetris. They are puzzle games, and they are perhaps INSPIRED by Tetris, but it’s not Tetris.
Welltris however got to have a place in the Tetris Collection for two reasons.
1. It’s not like Block Out, you just build on one layer, the only difference from regular Tetris is that you can build from 4 different directions of the board instead of just from above.
2. It is actually kind of like a sequel to Tetris, made by the same creator! Alexey Pajitnov! :D Therefore it does deserve a place in the Tetris Collection ^_^
I was pleasantly surprised when I finally got the game playing, it was the first game I’ve tried out on my Atari 1040ST :) I first had issues using the original Atari screen, because it was monochrome and apparently not able to display the games I attempted to load, once I switched to a regular CRT it worked perfectly though ^_^ I was sure Welltris would be like Block Out though so I was happy to see that it wasn’t. Here when a block falls down you can rotate around the four walls, kind of like in Tempest. Wherever it touches the ground floor it will then start falling continuously in that direction until it hits another block or the opposite wall. So you can build from all four directions and try to fit the blocks into place.
If you place a shape that doesn’t quite make it onto the board, where a piece of it is still hanging onto the wall it came from, then that wall turns red and you won’t be able to move shapes over that wall anymore. You die when all 4 walls are red. Basically it’s like hitting the top of the tower in regular Tetris, but here you have 4 chances. The main board is much smaller though so it’s easy to accidentally misplace a shape. Also when a wall is blocked it increases the difficulty since you can’t place anything from that direction anymore. The red walls do go away after a while though, I don’t know if it’s after a certain amount of blocks have been placed or if you have to delete a few rows first.
There’s also an increase in speed the higher the level you reach. There’s a total of 5 difficulty stages, each stage has a different environment picture to the right and an increase in speed. The last one on stage five is quite funny! It’s a programmer with a beard, with a computer screen containing the same image in the same image in the same image and so forth XD
I wonder if it’s meant to be Alexey??
You can also choose three various difficulty levels. The first one has regular Tetris blocks, and a few that only consists of two squares that are easy to place. The third one has really difficult pieces like stairs and plus-shapes. See examples of the pieces in the Stage 1 picture..
There’s also two various movement modes. One makes the movement of the block go all around 360° with just holding the left or right buttons on the keyboard, the other mode forces you to switch between up and down buttons on the left and right wall and left and right buttons on the upper and lower walls.. this is difficult, I prefer having it go all the way around with the push of just one button..
Anyway, here’s a video to give you an idea of what the gameplay looks like ^_^ I’m not sure if this game has been ported on other systems or if any similar games have been made. Please do let me know if you know of something that is like this one (and not BlockOut! ;)).
You should seriously play Welltris if you’re into puzzle games :D