Nov 29, 2011
Swampy the Alligator is a contradiction. He’s an alligator, cursed to live in the swamps and sewers that his kind normally dwell. Yet, he is a creature of grace and dignity – he prefers to eat with utensils and napkins, and likes to keep himself clean. Yet, clean water is difficult to come by in the sewers. So, Swampy gets into situations where he can get his water to take his precious baths, but he leaves it up to a benevolent unknown force – the player – to make the water get to him. The player must cut through dirt to guide water into a pipe that reaches Swampy. As well, there are bad elements, such as slime and corrosive acid, that must not reach Swampy’s pipe, but must occasionally be used to clear paths for Swampy’s bathwater to reach its intended destination.
This game follows the same formula that Angry Birds and Cut the Rope followed to great success, namely: “cute character + physics puzzles = profit.” Well, it works! Where’s My Water is extremely fun, and the puzzles offer plenty of variety, and challenging levels. Many demand quick timing, and thinking on one’s feet in order to succeed. It also has that intangible element, that factor that made me want to earn three ducks (this game’s star system) whenever possible, and to keep playing until I suddenly realized that I had just played through an entire set of levels in one burst. There’s a ton of content at launch as well, with 132 levels available, including the first major content update that hit iOS. This game is published by Disney, and it shows; Swampy is exceptionally animated, and his reactions to success and failure are a large part of the emotional connection that forms while playing. While using a tablet like the Xoom in portrait orientation over time is annoying, the game does run perfectly well on them.
The only real concern with Where’s My Water is that learning to use the touch controls precisely takes some time; issues with accidentally cutting to an unintended spot will happen, but they are a big part of the game’s learning curve. This physics puzzler deserves to be in the echelon of Angry Birds and Cut the Rope, and is a highly-recommended use of a dollar.
App available on the Android Market