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iPad  header logo

Where's My Water? 2

For: iPad   Also on: iPhone

Maybe with your dignity?

Product: Where's My Water? 2 | Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios | Format: iPad | Genre: Casual, Puzzle | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
Where's My Water? 2 iPad, thumbnail 1
It would be remiss of me to begin my review of Where's My Water? 2 without mentioning the countdown timers. Because these are the one aspect of the game that you're going to be seeing the most.

Sure, the timers in Disney's latest hydro puzzler are perfectly designed, well-balanced pieces of code. They look quite nice, too.

And the way they strike off the seconds between your energy bar emptying and your energy bar refilling is always accurate and always reliable.

And it's always the source of hateful frustration.

The puzzling that waits you beyond those time or money walls is still pretty good, and the sloshy water physics are just as entertainingly accurate as they ever were. But you can't shake the gnawing sensation that the game is willing you to fail, forcing you into the wait/pay dilemma that those ticking clocks govern.

Damp

Once again you're cutting through rocks to guide water down to the shower of cartoon alligator Swampy. This time round, though, his friends are along for the ride, with levels for Allie and the other 'gators unlocked as you play.

Each level has three ducks on it, and you need to collect these to unlock gates that bar your progression to the next set of levels. Once you've completed a level, new challenges for it open up. These might need you to finish it without collecting the ducks, or without pressing a switch.

Some of these are pretty entertaining, and require you to think in completely different ways to solve the puzzles. Others feel a bit like a mindless grind, and lack the spark of ingenuity that sets apart the best levels in the original.

Another new addition sees you having to guide a stream of water to the bottom of a series of obstacles while keeping the bulk of it on the screen. These levels are the weakest of the bunch, and eat into your energy bar with alarming speed.

Soggy

IAPs explained
Every energy recharge costs you 69p / 99c, and you can buy a longer energy bar for £11.99 / $16.99.

There are bundles of power-ups and hints for £1.99 / $2.99 or £6.99 / $9.99.

Single hints cost 69p / 99c as well.
And we're back to the ticking counters. You get a set amount of goes before your energy runs out (about nine goes, to be precise), then it's time to wait or pay.

Filling up your energy bar with cash costs 69p / 99c a pop. You get the same number of tries from your energy bar whether you succeed or fail, and once it's empty you have to wait or pay again.

It's hard not to let this central mechanic inform every move you make in the game, and slowly but surely it sucks the fun out of your experience.

Where the original Where's My Water? felt a little like a cartoon come to life, this one feels like a webisode that won't stop buffering.

And there's no escaping it either. You can pay to extend the bar, but that just delays the inevitable. You can't pay to remove the energy bar completely.

So while the physics might be sound, the levels might be fun, eventually you're going to be stopped from playing.

Flooded out

Where's My Water? 2 is a game knee-capped by its payment scheme. It spoils the experience, dragging you out of the game and dropping you in front of a chip and pin machine whenever it gets the chance.

It's a shame, because there's a solid game underneath the aggressive monetisation. But Where's My Water? 2 strips you at every turn of the compulsion to push on, ramming up walls just when you're starting to get a feel for things.

There are plenty of examples of free-to-play done right, and I don't want you to think that this is an attack on a payment model. But this is one of those times where a decent game is choked under the weight of a system that just doesn't suit it.
 
Where's My Water? 2
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 12 September 2013
A decent enough puzzling sequel that's ruined by an overbearing and unpleasant payment system, Where's My Water? 2 is a soggy mess
 
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Show: Latest | Oldest
Joined:
Apr 2012
Post count:
38
Bamba | 17:02 - 4 October 2013
*sigh* WMW and it's spin-offs are my favourite mobile games ever and I briefly got very excited when I saw this review, but I won't be touching it with a bargepole when it inevitably makes it's way onto Android. Even if the F2P bullshit wasn't so bad I'd have ignored it on principle but the fact that it genuinely ruins the game, going by this review at least, means I can feel more justified in doing so.
Joined:
Aug 2012
Post count:
88
RockinIt | 18:05 - 12 September 2013
Those IAPs are quite scary... Oh well there's another amazing Humble Bundle this week, put down your iPhone and fire up your Mac or PC, give a bit to charity and get some quality games in return. I know exactly what I'll be doing!
Joined:
Dec 2012
Post count:
105
Eriatarka | 18:03 - 12 September 2013
good review, pocketgamer usually goes way too easy on games with terrible IAP mechanisms
Joined:
Feb 2013
Post count:
75
bhavukjain1 | 16:26 - 12 September 2013
This game has a 4.5/5 rating on the App Store. Wow. Totally misleading reviews.
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