Water way to go
Back in the day I was forced, by the necessity of having only one TV in the house, to sit with my parents watching London's Burning. I lost most of my enthusiasm for the fire brigade at that point, but Sprinkle may just have charm enough to bring it all back.
Set on the distant moon of Titan, the physics-based game from Fabrication Games is all about putting out fires. The little creatures that inhabit the planet are having a problem with meteors that set their villages on fire due to pesky Earth tourists. So they set about building a (cute) wooden contraption to put the fires out and save their village.
Sure enough, the player is tasked with helping the miniature fire brigade in their quest to bring peace and harmony back to their planet and stop the fires ruining all their fun. To do this, you control the wooden fire hose, which can be moved around to aim at the fire. The nozzle angle is adjustable and the whole contraption can be wheeled left and right or cranked up and down to get the water flowing right where it's needed.
As with all things, it's not quite as easy as it first appears. Tunnels block your route, boulders stop the water flowing to certain areas and wheels need to be spun in the right direction in order to put out the spreading fire. Spend too long getting the right angle and the fire will burn down a hut, use too much water and it's game over.
As luck would have it, boulders can be moved and items pushed with the power of the water jet. This is the key to solving most of the early puzzles in the game and getting the water to where it is most needed. On later levels the water wheels and cogs need to be spun in the right direction, while further meteors tear across the sky and create more fiery doom for the inhabitants of Titan.
Sprinkle's water system is impressive. The water really does flow as it should and the physics are perfect, making it far easier to work out how to deliver the water to the fires. Not that it's easy, later levels can take a fair few tries to get right. Just as well, as the game isn't all that long, though the latest update has unlocked a full set of extra free levels to further improve the longevity and more are promised.
Alongside the water effects, the bright, clear graphics are easy on the eye and the attention to detail isn't lost on retina displays. The hose itself is so cute that it almost has a life of it's own and steals the show from the little aliens that run around panicking about their flammable straw cottages. Watching them get all burnt up or swept away by the rushing water is almost unbearable.
Replay value comes in the form of the water drop score, where any unused water goes towards a final score for that level. Use up too much water and you'll be coming back to try the level again. While it improves the longevity of the game, I did feel that there could have been even more content or a different play mode perhaps to keep me coming back after the levels were complete.
Ultimately, Sprinkle succeeds in bringing something new to the table with the excellent water physics and the cute characters. If you've completed World of Goo and fancy another top class liquid based physics game, grab a copy of Sprinkle from the App Store and you won't be disappointed.
- Sound: 8
- Graphics: 9
- Gameplay: 9
- Longevity: 8
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