4cr Plays – Puddle
Puddle is an interesting physics based puzzler that has made its way to the Wii U after being released on pretty much every other platform you can think of. In Puddle, you control the world around a puddle of fluid that is just starting on a long journey that will take us from controlling the environment around a regular mass of water to moving a puddle of fertilizer, urine, nitroglycerin and everything in between.
On Wii U, you can control the world around our little puddle of joy either by tilting the GamePad left or right, by using the ZL and ZR buttons, or simply by moving the analog stick left or right. The default control method is tilting the Wii U GamePad, but you can change this in the options menu if you don’t want to use motion controls. I ended up playing half of the game by tilting the GamePad and the other half by using ZL and ZR, and they’re both very responsive, so it is up to you to decide how to do it.
Since this is a physics-based game, building up some speed, slowing down, and hitting objects or walls at the right angle at the right speed at the right time is the only way to obtain a gold medal in every single level. You are graded on every single level based either on how long it took you to complete a level times the total amount of fluid still left when you reach the exit or, sometimes, on the time it took you to complete the level.
You must avoid several hazards during your adventure since there are specific elements that can destroy your puddle in just a couple of seconds. Water, for example, evaporates when it heats up considerably, which is why you must quickly move over strong heat sources. Conversely, nitroglycerin explodes when it is hit or jolted abruptly which is why you must make sure your puddle isn’t moving too fast or comes into contact with moving objects.
The game will take you into pipes, gardens, labs, a human body, sewers and even into a rocket. Each level provides you with different types of textures that realistically affect the way our puddle slides, jumps and drops around the place. Before it is over, you will have spent around 6-8 hours with Puddle, which is great value for the $7.99 asking price, and you can either play on the TV or on the GamePad itself thanks to Off-TV Play – a feature that I love to have on Wii U games since I can just continue to play without a problem when the TV is needed for something else.
As a physics-based game, Puddle brings something fun and unique to the table and is a great addition to the growing Wii U eShop catalog. The in-game challenges system and the included leader-board will keep you coming back for more once you’ve reached the end and provide an extra set of objectives for those that love to do everything possible in a game.