Puddle: “Cry Me a River”

Along with magnificent and well known game companies who create hardcore action games that require powerful computers, there are also indie developers who sometimes forget about making the game beautiful in its direct meaning and stress on the plot or the gameplay itself. But there are also those who leave the prejudice behind and combine both methods to create something a lot like Puddle.

Puddle is definitely not an ordinary game and at the first site its main idea might look a bit strange. Unlike other indie games where you have a hero that has to travel through the level, in this 2D masterpiece you will play as liquid substances. I know, it sounds ridiculous but after a couple of minutes you will realize that this is exactly what makes this game so special.

I’ve used a word “liquid” on purpose because this actually describes the whole concept of the game. I know that while playing indie games, you got used to control little creatures, animals, fairytale heroes, human characters and so on but in Puddle you will have to lead different liquid substances instead: water, oil, nitroglycerine and others. But not only will you have to direct them and find a proper route to finish the mission but also will be forced to consider their physical peculiarities and direct influence of the surrounding. Angels, surfaces, centrifugal forces, gravity, pressure, temperature, viscosity and all the other factors will mean a lot and you will have to mind them all in order to complete the game successfully. By all means this is a perfect instrument that can be used during Physics lessons because every substance acts like in a real life and will be a nice interactive example. It’s a virtual paradise for every physicist.

Substances

As it was mentioned already, your main task is to lead a certain amount of the substance given to the end of the level but that is actually harder than it sounds. Everything including substance’s behavior, gravity and angle you plan to use will change the way it flows and is some cases even the slightest change might become fatal for you. Technically, the whole game is controlled using two buttons only but it’s nearly impossible to call it “one button game with a simple gameplay.” Fluids will flow, split, evaporate, absorb, explode and do lots of other things the variety of which can change in seconds. In other words – you won’t be bored leading liquids in right directions.

Levels

Every new level brings a totally new experience and a totally different understanding of the word “lead.” And this is a perfect moment to give another set of credits to those people who stand behind the game. From the very beginning you will be offered to finish 49 levels. Unfortunately, they are so amazingly interesting that can be unlocked in one day or one badly planned evening.  But here’s more: after a certain set of levels liquids will change their origin of existence and the surrounding itself as far as every substance will have to face its own personal journey: in Chemical labs you  deal with lasers and spinners, on the plant – with hot surfaces and gas-stoves and in a human body with antibodies and intestinal peristalsis. Color palette and lighting is pretty simple on all levels, and thanks to this particular solution every location looks unique: red and green colors in the wild, roentgenogram of a human body in black and grey and paper with ink on a drawing table in classic white. Really – lots of things to be amazed with!

Puddle is an interesting solution for an indie game created with inspiration and intellect. Of course, it’s not for everyone but still – it is worth every cent spent on it. Besides, it runs on all the possible platforms and is even available on the Google Play for Tegra based Android devices. Probably, mobile version will bring even more fun for a regular player than its PC variant.

Author: Oleg Repetskiy

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