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Where's my water?

Product: Sploosh | Developer: Spooky Moon Studio | Publisher: Spooky Moon Studio | Format: iPhone | Genre: Puzzle | Players: 1 | File size: 40.8MB | Version: Europe
Sploosh iPhone, thumbnail 1
It’s bad form to kick off a review of one game by comparing it to another. But the water physics puzzler genre is so small that it’s hard not to give consideration to the handful of games that already occupy this niche.

Enigmo was an early example, Sprinkle made a splash last year, and Where’s My Water? is the current holder of the crown. To this (very) short list we can add Sploosh, a contender that’s both quirky and squirty.

The game is all about using water for the worthy purpose of restoring life. With the help of Bazzil the bee, you have to engage in a spot of emergency horticulture, transforming a withered dry husk into a verdant forest of green. Naturally, this involves sloshing lots of water about, and generally exploiting to the laws of physics.

Gardener’s World

12 underground gardens have been sucked dry of their moisture by a group of greedy cactii. You have to locate each cactus, burst it to release the water, and then distribute the life-giving liquid around the dried earth.

The level is completed when you managed to revive a tree at the end of each level – fill a reservoir at the root and you’ve successfully rebooted the bark.

The controls mostly involve tilting the screen, with the occasional tap to prompt another action. Rolling your device around in your lap will make the water in the game slosh around.

It’s just about responsive enough, but is some of the more trying levels you may find yourself wishing for a more efficient control scheme. That said, the water level won’t diminish no matter how much you splash it about, so there’s plenty of scope for trial and error.

There are secondary objectives, such as to water a minimum percentage of the terrain, to beat the clock, and to locate and revive all the flower seeds in the level. Meeting each of these is rewarded with a star, with a fourth star available for beating the clock again in an even shorter time. But, again, the control scheme makes achieving this last one pretty tough.

A modifier is introduced every couple of levels - for example, a worm that teleports water from one area of the stage to another, or a bubble that collects water until you pop it. These are important for maintaining interest where otherwise boredom might set in, although it’s more of a drip-feed of variety rather than a torrent.

Shiny Happy People

The primary colour palette and smiley smiley characterisation is firmly aimed at the pre-school audience. Your mileage will vary depending on your tolerance for saccharine sweetness, although Sploosh is a good game to play together with the little ones.

If there’s a serious flaw, it’s that the game is too short and it’s over far too quickly. A mere 12 levels is incredibly stingy compared to the 100+ levels we customarily get in other puzzle games. The levels are certainly bigger, but their size also precludes that pick-up-and-play inclination you’d have with something that’s carved into smaller chunks.

Essentially, Sploosh is no substitute for Where’s My Water? It just doesn’t have the professional polish or the developmental might behind it. In a best case evaluation, it’s a complementary title that’s a couple of system updates away from achieving its full potential.
Reviewer photo
Bulent Yusuf | 24 January 2012
Sploosh is (too) short and (too) sweet. If you’ve completed Where’s My Water? and are looking for a temporary fix, this should float your water physics-puzzling boat
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