In this physics-based puzzle game, the object is to direct various liquids through 2D mazes while avoiding numerous traps and pitfalls. While most puzzle games have a steep learning curve, Puddle keeps it simple by allowing the player to tilt the environment. Even though the concept is simple, it can be very challenging to direct your liquid to the end of each level.
The game begins with a cup of coffee being poured in a break room. Once the coffee is poured, the camera zooms in on the cup sitting on the edge of a table.You can tilt the environment by pressing the LT and RT buttons respectively. As the contents of the cup spill, the liquid pours its way through an obstacle course that leads to an exit in the floor. The first level is just a basic introduction.
Later levels require quick reflexes as you propel your liquid over ramps to avoid burners and other obstacles. Some mazes have tight areas that are very difficult to navigate as your liquid tries to avoid vaporization. The object of the game is to save as much liquid as possible. A water bottle containing the amount of liquid available is located at the top of the screen.
As your liquid travels, it breaks into bubbles of various sizes. Tilting the environment will either increase or decrease the speed of these bubbles, depending on their location.
In some cases, water is left behind, depleting the amount of fluid available in the water bottle. Once you lose enough water, the game ends and you have to start the level over. After completing a level, your performance is rewarded with either a bronze, silver, or gold medal.
The type of liquid you control depends on the level. During the level ‘Green Flow’, you control a honey-like substance as you pour down the side of trees and roots. Since it is possible to interact with the environment, you can move leaves, dissolve roots, and push other debris aside as you travel.
Some levels, like Green Fingers, are very creative. A flaming bucket of Sodium Chloride sits on a swing attached to a water sprinkler system. While tilting the environment, the Sodium Chloride swings back and forth as it tries to heat up the sprinklers. A meter that monitors the amount of heat being administered to the sprinklers is located at the top of the screen.
Once enough heat is applied, the sprinklers activate and water flows into the next level. This is actually harder than it sounds. Trying to control the momentum of the Sodium Chloride, without it falling, can be difficult.
The in-game camera can be a nuisance at times. During larger levels, the camera tends to travel faster than the liquid, leaving some of it behind. Avoiding certain traps can be very difficult when this happens. Some areas are narrow and lined with heaters, and trying to move your liquid through the trap while the camera is already ahead of you is difficult. Luckily, this doesn’t happen during every level.
Puddle’s graphics are very dark; most of the foreground objects appear as silhouettes (especially during the Nursery chapter). The backgrounds are no different as they use little color and are barely in focus. It would seem that this was done to focus on the liquid and traps, which are the most detailed objects in the game.
Despite the in-game camera issues, Puddle is still a fun puzzle game that offers hours of intense challenges. With twelve achievements, an online leaderboard, a Laboratory, and eight chapters to complete, there is enough content in Puddle to keep even hardcore Puzzle gamers happy. If you haven’t already, purchase Puddle today.
Platform: Xbox 360
ESRB: T (Teen)
Price: 800 Microsoft Points
|There isn't much detail and most of the environments are dark.|
|The soundtrack is moody and atmospheric.|
|Puddle's puzzles are not easy to complete.|
|Challenging and fun, Puddle is a worthy addition to your game library.|