Puddle Review

Swoosh...Swoosh...

Puddle, or as I like to call it, The game that makes me thirsty, is an award winning Indie game where you control the flow and direction of water and other liquids. Follow their adventures as they grow, evaporate, and fly through a series of pipes and beakers.

Puddle’s main objective is getting a certain liquid element from point A to point B. In order to do so, you must tilt the level by pressing the trigger buttons.  Throughout each level there are objects that will destroy, deplete, and evaporate your liquid; other objects will help you progress through the level. Unfortunately, Puddle doesn’t really do a good job of explaining pretty much anything to you, and kind of throws you into the world of pipes to fend for yourself. The first level starts with your liquid inside a cup, most people will probably stare at the cup for a few minutes without realizing that they have to knock the cup over using the tilt.

The visuals of Puddle are a bit familiar. Aesthetically, it’s a lot like Limbo and Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet. It runs smooth, with the exception for cut scenes. The level design is creative, and can be a lot of fun. The problem is, Puddle is pretty challenging. So challenging, that there is a feature called “Whine and Skip”, you are allowed only two Whines, and in order to get more Whines, you must go back and complete the level that you skipped. If you were able to control more than just the tilt of the level, it would be a bit less challenging and add another layer of game play.

Physics are a major factor in Puddle, and it does a great job of emulating it. Tilt backwards up a ramp then rapidly tilt forward to create momentum and jump over a gap, or subtlety tilting back and forth to center a liquid. Some levels require you to start a fire alarm, or to turn on a heater to evaporate your water. Others will make you push buttons using the force of your liquid. Based on the amount of liquid you safely guide to the exit, you will be awarded a medal. The medals range from Bronze to Gold and they are presented in each corresponding elemental symbols.

The biggest issue I faced with Puddle is that I wasn’t really having fun. I was just getting frustrated, and normally no matter how frustrating a puzzle is, I still have fun with it. But Puddle just left me empty, never really wanting to go back to it. There isn’t much replay value, other than going back and beating your best times, and getting an improved medal.

Puddle is a brilliant idea, and may be very appealing to some, but the lack of explanation really hinders a chunk of the audience. The lack of being able to control things besides the tilt of the level really limits the amount of variety. Puddle is gorgeous and the level design is brilliant but, unfortunately, it’s not fun and can be very challenging. Puddle is not bad, but misses several targets, it also makes me very thirsty.

Pros:

  • Great visuals
  • Good use of physics
  • Great level design

Cons:

  • Lack of explanation
  • Not very enjoyable
  • It makes me thirsty

Score: 3/5

Tell the World!
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • N4G
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Tumblr

About Erik Rodriguez

Erik is an Associate Editor at Empty Lifebar and former co-host of the Restless Gamers podcast. A huge fan of Star Wars and Western RPGs, Erik is always ready to poison food in an Elder Scrolls game and believes he is one with the force.