Welltris logo

Publisher: Infogrames Price: £24.99

Welltris, or 'Tetris: the Sequel', if you prefer, is the long awaited follow up to the arcade classic Tetris, one of the most successful logic games ever.

The action takes place in the 3D well on the left of the screen. The aim of the game is to guide the various shapes down the walls of the well, rotating them if necessary, so that they fit perfectly with the pieces already on the floor. You have to do this without leaving gaps, or pieces resting against the walls of the well.

Allow a piece to come to rest on the wall of the well, and the entire wall section is blocked for the next three falling pieces. When all four walls are blocked it's time for the immortal words 'Game Over'.

Sounds simple? If you can think and react fast enough it is, if you can't, however, it can be a very different story.

After sliding down the wall of the well, pieces continue to slide across the floor until they're either stopped by coming into contact with another piece or the opposite wall of the well. As a piece falls it can be moved around the walls of the well, providing they're not blocked, and when it reaches the desired point of entry to the well floor, pressing the space bar sends the piece flying down to a perfect fit with its companions.

The higher the piece on the wall when released, the more points scored. When a line is completed across the well floor either horizontally or vertically, it disappears, allowing room for more pieces to fall.

The screen displays despite various aspects of Soviet society and as the difficulty levels change, so does the scenery. Anyone able to make it past Alexey should contact MENSA, and start donating to a sperm bank immediately (er, unless you're a girly - Ed).

Like many essentially simple concepts, the closer you look the more complex things become. Any game which possesses these qualities is invariably a good one. No doubt Alexey Pajinov will do for home computing what Professor Rubik did for coffee tables.

Welltris logo

INFOGRAMES £24.99 * Keyboard

Whenever puzzle games come under the scrutiny of the reviewer, no matter how eloquent the prose, talk returns to the all-time classic Tetris.

The original had the player manipulating falling blocks so that they formed lines in a vertical, rectangular grid. Welltris follows the same principal, except the action takes place in four planes instead of one. Sound confusing?

Well, it's actually quite simple. Shapes made up of squares fall down the sides of a square 'well'. While they're on the sides of the well, the player can move the pieces sideways around the walls and rotate them through 90 degrees. When the piece hits the bottom of the well, it slides across until it hits a wall or another piece.

The idea is to make solid lines either vertically or horizontally, which are then removed allowing the remaining pieces to slide towards the middle, thus freeing up space around the walls. As an occasional extra a larger bonus piece appears which, when fitted into the grid, gives an extra boost to your score and advances the speed up to the next level.

If any piece leaves a square on the side of the well, then that wall turns red and no piece can be moved onto it for three moves, if all four walls turn red at one time, then no more pieces can appear and it's game over.


With a game like Welltris, there isn't really much need for super snazzy sound and graphics, since the gameplay is all that really counts. Having particularly bad colours on screen could make the going a little daunting though! Fortunately Welltris has been very well designed. The graphics are sharp and clear, with some rather pretty sides-screens to make progressing through the levels a bit more interesting. The sound effects are rather atmospheric too, if a little sparse, with an echoey 'clunk' as the pieces slam together when a line is completed and a ghostly howl when a wall is locked up.
Unfortunately the tune makes a return to the overly jangly and twee Russian folk songs. After all there is a picture of a rock band in the game, so why couldn't we have a more rockin' soundtrack?


If you start playing Welltris, don't plan on having much of a social life! The first game is all you need to get hooked, then it's just one more game, then another, then another, then...


No other puzzle game has managed to break the bounds of originality quite in the same way as Tetris when it first appeared four years ago. The game was so addictive that many people still play it today! Welltris isn't quite as original - after all, it is a follow-up - but the principal is just as challenging as ever, and the new variations make it seem almost as fresh as when Tetris first appeared. Whether you consider yourself a puzzle freak or not, get hold of a copy of Welltris, then try the real challenge of tearing yourself away from the game!

Welltris logo

Infogrames, Amiga £24.99

The Russian game that sent the West mad is back with a vengeance. For the uninitiated, Tetris involved manipulating falling coloured shapes so that when they landed they might form a line with other shapes. The concept of the sequel is similar, but it has been expanded.

This time the play area consists of a square 'well' - with you looking down into it. As before, oddly shaped pieces fall down one at a time. These can be moved around the four walls of the well and rotated. Your aim is again to form straight lines from one side of the well to another. Once a line is formed it disappears with a satisfying thunk, pieces resting on the line move together, and you get lots of points.

If you're slow forming lines, then the well will fill up with pieces. And if a piece doesn't fall completely into the well - i.e. part of it sticks out up the wall - then the well flashes red and no pieces can be moved across it until another three pieces have fallen. If all four walls turns red then it's game over!

To begin with the pieces fall very slowly, but after 15 pieces an awkwardly shaped bonus piece falls and then the speed is increased by one. Also, the purely decorative picture on the right of the screen changes with a short burst of Russian music.

There are five speeds which can be set at the start, and three levels with bigger more awkward pieces.

Phil King I'm not sure Welltris will have quite the same impact as its predecessor but its just as addictive. The 'three-dimensional' aspect makes it even more puzzling, giving you many more options for the positioning of each shape. Despite this, with its simple rules the game is easy enough to get into straight away, and the lowest speed setting is a nice, leisurely pace. As with the original, presentation is the game's weak point with purely functional game graphics, mediocre pictures and irregular out-of-tune tunes. It hardly pushes the Amiga, but the game will surely push even the brainiest mind to the limit - yes, even mine!
Scorelord I never bought Tetris so was never hooked. As for Welltris it definitely lacks instant graphic impact. The decorative pictures on the right are nice, but not much more than that and the thankfully brief Russian tunes require a bottle of vodka to be enjoyed. Even the gameplay seems a little dull and slow as you begin. But after just a while it really starts to grip. On the easiest level I was playing until my hand got cramp! It really is very satisfying putting all the pieces together, a continually demanding and rewarding experience that is extremely addictive. It's a pity the pictures weren't more interesting, but who needs them? This is a first-class game which compares very well with both Pipemania and Klax. Although it lacks their variety of gameplay, it's less frustrating. Highly recommended.