Apr 10, 2012The game concept was created by a french student group of ENJMIN, who won the Student Showcase at GDC 2010, and was picked up and developed by Neko Entertainment.The game does not really have a story, it is only a game where you must carry a liquid from point A to B, which would be the end of a path, in the shortest time and with as much liquid remaining as possible, avoiding the dangers that the way, that causes the liquid to be lost. We can't deny, Puddle graphics are very nice and with high resolution textures, with very well done and realistic physical effects (eg liquid metal texture, metal structures on fire, etc.), with a haze effect in objects far away, all running at a speed of 60fps - it still have some watercolor paintings images reproduced very well too.
Yet the movement of the camera does not help in the gameplay because it is often too slow, making it difficult to see what you do, and what it's happening in a whole.
The sound effects of the liquid dripping, or the heat evaporating it (like simmering water) is very well done, and all sounds in general are, in the stillness that generally the game have, adds to this a discrete musical soundtrack with electronic beats and plenty of soft music.
The gameplay on Puddle is based in the use of only two controls in the game, the LT and RT to flip the screen, what moves with gravity, the liquid, thus controlling the speed and direction of it, through various phases, consisting of pipes, levels driven pumps and gates, and of course the "dangers" in the form of fire, burning metal, air currents, drains and electricity, which evaporate or diminishes the amount of liquid in the path. It's a nice concept, but it have some problems in the execution: the liquid does not tend to get attached, it disperses into droplets too easy, and you lose a great amount of it when you try to get the control of too many drops at a time, and due to this, adding one more enemy to the challenges that already exist in the game to evaporate it (and as said the camera doesn't help).
And to make matters worse, in the late stages, after falling into a certain amount (remember that this is a score parameter), the phase ends without waiting for the rest of the liquid arrives, instead of wait to the whole moving liquid reach the end.
The aim of the phases is get to the end of it, in less time, with the maximum possible liquid, avoiding the dangers - in the end of each level you're graded according to a curve with the amount of water in "boards", with the colors and symbols of the chemical elements, like gold , silver and copper, represented by their chemical names of the periodic table (Au, Ag and Cu, which were the trophies in the game).
There is not only water as a liquid in the game, but nitroglycerin, oil, coffee, acid and fertilizer (eg to fertilize and grow plants in particular phase), each with its own characteristics and a way of interacting with the phase, which makes the characteristics of the fluids in different phases more interesting.
The game ends up being a game of trial (lots and lots) and error, making it a puzzle game of a medium to high difficulty, due to the precision that you should achieve balanced quantity, movement and speed of the water that you control, and while avoiding the dangers of the stage, having not much time to think about it.
In essence, due to the difficulty, and the camera and physics problems, it loose the fun factor really quick. My score: with some polishing in the difficulty - it would be nice a Easy / Normal / Hard selection -, camera, and liquid dispersion issues, it would be a 7,4 / 10,0, but with these problems that the game actually have, i'd give it a 6,0 / 10,0 score.… Expand
Feb 11, 2012Puddle is a good puzzle game for many reasons. The fluid dynamic that is present throughout the game adds a new depth of problem solving and spacial thinking to the genre. Graphics are definitely a strong point in the game and sound has to be the best part of the game by far, with it's constantly changing moods and a soundtrack that is as adaptable to each level as the fluid you play as. Puddle is the perfect game for puzzle lovers but may not flow well with those who don't enjoy a good challenge.… Expand