A game that is very calming and varied, but not without a few flaws.
Puddle , for the Wii U, is a game that reminds me of some of Genova Chen’s outings including Flower and Flow. Now, this isn’t to say that Puddle is on the same level as the two aforementioned games, but they definitely share a similarity. Puddle is one of those “zen-like” games, and is definitely very calming to play. That being said, the game isn’t without its flaws either.
In Puddle, a player can tip the world left or right in order to move a liquidous solution through a level. Players must avoid different obstacles in order to progress and can only lose a certain amount of liquid before having to start the level over again. This is where discrepancies begin to arise between the games from thatgamecompany and Puddle. Whereas in Flower there is really no way to die, if one performs badly in Puddle they’ll be forced to start the level over. Some players may embrace this aspect of challenge. Unfortunately, I find that this ruins the calmness of the game. When playing, I’d enjoy taking the game slow, and in return would feel very calm. When on the later levels, however, I would begin to feel frustrated after dying repeatedly and I feel like this impairs the game.
The game does a good job varying gameplay throughout its five hour journey. Various liquids will be introduced throughout the game and there is a variety of different environments as well. One may begin playing with normal water in a house setting at the beginning, then play with explosive fluid in a laboratory setting, then play with a swallowed solution within the human body. Each liquid interacts differently with each environment and the game does a great job varying the way that a player plays the game.
The game features a full challenge system, with many different challenges for a player to strive for. Unfortunately, since the Wii U doesn’t support it, these challenges are not system-wide and as result they’re really not an incentive for players to keep coming back to the game. The game features a high scores table, but it’s not as robust as I’d like it to be. It only tracks the amount of medals you’ve earned and how long it has taken you to get them as opposed to actually tracking how long each level took to complete. As a result, the high scores table is really quite frivolous and unnecessary.
In conclusion, Puddle definitely isn’t a game that everyone will be writing home about, but it’s definitely not a bad game either. With a challenge system and a variety of levels, the content definitely warrants the price. For those looking for a calm gaming experience, or for those that have already exhausted their Wii U options, definitely look into buying Puddle from the Wii U eShop today.