Puddle Review – Hyper hydrodynamics!
Puddle launches you into a world you have no idea about: there are no lengthy tutorials, no real explanations, and no apologies. The player begins with nothing but a cup of coffee that has just been sat upon a table. When you shift the screen to the left or to the right, the cup starts to tilt with the fluid slowly falling before you find yourself in a maze of wonderful lights and deathtraps.
The aim of Puddle is to guide your fluid to its final resting place, the finish line. Sounds simple right? Wrong. As your coffee or water shoots towards the end of the line many obstacles such as fire and Venus Fly-Traps will constantly ‘eat’ your precious cargo. If you fall victim to such burdens you will soon find your liquid meter will drop below its threshold, forcing you to start the level again. Your only responsibility is reach every goal by all means necessary with enough liquid left to pass.
Although this may sound simple, it becomes be quite challenging after more levels are completed. As you dive deeper into the game, the player will be faced with other chemicals such as Weed Killer that destroys plant life placed in your path, Liquid metal will prove difficult if not heated throughout the level and Nitro-glycerine, which is highly explosive, must be treated with care. With no explanation of what is actually happening, it only makes the game more intriguing as you explore, experiment and discover each substances abilities on your own.
If you ever get snagged and fed up with a certain level you can use a Whine. Whines are given to the player at the start of the game as ‘free passes’, in other words, to skip a level. Be warned! Only use your Whines if you are truly stuck because you’ll only have a few at your disposal. It’s a nice touch that keeps the game teetering on the edge of challenging and flat our frustrating when you find yourself stuck.
Puddle shows that a simple game isn’t always an easy one. The game successfully gives the player great gameplay with difficult challenges while remaining artistically beautiful and calming with a unique soundtrack. Puddle is an all ages, artistic and challenging experience that no other physics game can offer. The only downfall is no checkpoints are offered which would have saved my temper during the harder levels.
Buy Puddle DRM-free from GOG for $9.99