Puddle Review (XBLA)

Every drop counts with this fabulous fluid flowing game.

There are some games where the idea is very simple, but the way the game is executed and the graphics take it to an even higher level, that is the case with this new game called Puddle.

Available on Xbox Live Arcade [XBLA] for the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation Network [PSN] for the PlayStation 3 and PS Vita, this game from KONAMI was originally a project devised by six students from the French school Enjmin. It later became the winner of GDC 2010’s Independent Games Festival, Student Showcase Division and it not difficult to see why.

The aim is simple, you have a quantity of liquid that you have to move from one location to another, how hard can that be? Well, actually, it is quite tricky. To move the liquid, you rotate the environment rather than the object it’s travelling in and along the way you have a series of obstacles to overcome. Obstacles including fire and heat as well as negotiating the bends and turns.

With some of the levels, you only need to get some of the liquid to the end in order to complete it, in others you need to finish with a certain amount. This means that with the former, you can afford to go a bit quicker as lingering around the fire or heat will evaporate your liquid and you will lose.

There are also some things that you need to do with the liquid in order to progress. These include gates that you have to open by clicking on one or more switches. This is achieved by using the liquids momentum to flow against them and activate them. It’s a nice little puzzle to solve, this is most certainly not a one trick game, or one you will get bored with easily.

There are many different types of liquid and setting to keep you interested. These include anything from coffee to nitro glycerin for the liquid, to pipes, plants or the sewer for the settings.

The graphics are another area where the game excels. They are simple, yet detailed, but they are understated enough that they don’t distract you from the game. The flow of the liquid is very realistic and does exactly what you would expect it to do in the real world.

In essence this is a very enjoyable and addictive game. Yes there are times that you may get frustrated, but the feeling of victory when you have mastered it is well worth the effort. You do have a helping hand in the form of Whines; these enable you to skip a level if it proves too difficult. These are limited however, and you only get them back if you manage to complete the level you skipped.

This is an immensely fun game and easy to pick up and play when you have a spare minute or too. Although once you start, it will be difficult to put down the controller.

Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

About the Author

I'm based in the UK and I have been writing about games for quite a while now. I like most types of game which helps, but I especially love management games.