Zetrix is a gorgeous Tetris clone, made by Vesa Halonen in 2000. The idea of the game is this. Blocks will drop down from the top, and you have to use them to build solid lines. Of course, nothing is ever that simple. These blocks come in many weird and wonderful shapes, and you often find yourself wanting a particular block to complete your line. When you manage to make a solid line, that line disappears, leaving you more room to 'play' with. However, if you cannot make a complete line, the screen quickly fills up with blocks. The more blocks on the screen, the harder things get. You have to build 10 lines before you can continue to the next level. The more lines you build at once, the better your score.
This game is fully customisable, so you can set each option to suit your preference. There are four difficulty levels for this game - Easy, Medium, Hard, or Impossible. The controls (move left, move right, and rotate) can be redefined to whichever keys you want. You can also choose to play Single Player, or play against a friend using the same computer with Multiplayer.
There are two modes of gameplay. Classic Mode lets you play a standard game, building up lines to score points. Enhanced Mode gives you a slightly different twist. With enhanced mode, you get some bonus tiles, which can either help or hinder you. You are also fighting against a water level. The bonus tiles for Enhanced Mode are as follows:
Dynamite - Creates a small explosion.
Blue Glow - Increases the water level.
Yellow Glow - Decreases the water level.
Dollar Sign - Increases your score.
The graphics are incredible. Your playing area is a wooden board that tilts and swivels as you play. The next piece that will fall is shown to the right, so you can try to plan ahead. The blocks are also shown as 3d, which gives a lot of depth to the gameplay. The water level effect (enhanced mode) is very impressive, as it pushes all the blocks further up the screen. As a line is completed, that line explodes, and then flies towards you. The dynamite tile is a lot of fun to watch, as it blows up nearby blocks.
There is a different background for each level, which is fascinating to watch. Sometimes you see blocks floating past, or various lights dancing around. Sometimes it seems like you are flying through space. In each corner, you are shown your score, the level you are on, the number lines left to complete that level, and the next piece.
THE MUSIC AND SOUND EFFECTS
'Spacey' music is played throughout the game. This music really suits the mood of the game, and adds to the atmosphere. As each line is built, you can hear it explode before it disappears. There is a slightly different explosion heard when a dynamite tile is placed.
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The replayability is excellent. You can play again and again to try to beat your score, or get to a higher level. You can also challenge your friends to see who can get a better score. It is also interesting to see what background will be shown in the next level.
It is amazing how such a simple concept can be so addictive. Building lines has never been so much fun. The controls can be redefined to make things easier, and the bonus tiles in Enhanced Mode add a lot of fun to the game. The music is lovely to listen to, and the explosions are a lovely touch. Zetrix is an excellent game, and I could not really find anything wrong with it. Why not try it for yourself?
Review by: Frodo