Welltris is another challenge from the creator of Tetris, Alexey Pajitnov. Alexey is a famous Soviet mathematician, member of the Soviet Academy of Sciences and all-round dude when it comes to creating brain-busting games.
Anyone who's played Tetris should have a fairly good idea what Welltris is all about. Geometric shapes are manipulated as they fall down the sides of a square well, so that they slot in with the pieces already at the bottom. Whereas Tetris was in 2D, Welltris has been created in 3D, so you have four sides of the well to contend with.
Pieces can be moved from side to side and rotated to find the best fit. Once a vertical or horizontal line has been created at the bottom, the line disappears, giving you more room to fit new pieces in. Careful positioning is needed: if part of a piece sticks up the side of the well, that side is temporarily out of action. When all four have been wiped out, it's game over.
Welltris caters for all skills by having a multitude of skill options: the higher the level, the more complex the shapes you have to manipulate. You can also speed up the rate at which the pieces fall. But there are ways to 'cheat'. By moving a shape onto a corner, you create two new shapes on either wall, thus giving you another way of fitting the shape in.
Playing Welltris isn't a pleasurable experience - unless you're gifted with the patience of a saint. The control keys are so clustered together you need the flingers of a toddler to be able to use them and there's no redefine option!
It's the layout of the keys that really lets Welltris's playability down. If you can cope with the keys you may be able to have some fun with the game, because it's a pretty spiffy puzzle game and can be hellishly addictive.
NICK ... 79%
'Da comrade. It's another groovy Glasnost-type game from those lovable Russian dudes (Erm... very good, Mark - Ed). Welltris has taken its time to reach these shores. Its predecessor, Tetris, was reviewed a long, long time ago. Welltris's early levels are easy enough to but later the puzzles are hair-tearingly difficult. My main moan is the cruddy control keys - it helps if you're a contortionist they're that close together - and there's no joystick option. Despite this, Welltris manages to twist your brain as well as your fingers.'