“A charming, playable, enjoyable physics puzzler that deserves to make a splash on the App Store.”£0.69
Poor Swampy. He’s the most hygienic of alligators and all he wants is a nice, hot shower. In fact, lots of nice, hot showers, pretty much all of the time. Maybe he’s not so much sanitary as afflicted with OCD. Anyway, his sewer ’gator chums don’t take kindly to Swampy’s eccentric nature, so they’ve ronched the underground pipes and destroyed most of them. It’s both an excuse we’re surprised British water companies haven’t yet tried during summer droughts and a problem for our shower-obsessed reptile hero.
Your job is to be a virtual plumber, guiding water to Swampy’s shower. ‘Helpfully’, whoever designed the mains and sewerage system around Swampy’s way was a great deal wackier than the ’gator himself, and so you must dig through earth to guide water to bent pipes that jut out at all angles. The water is subsequently fired about the screen and, with a little luck, into a shower intake.
Throughout, hazards impede progress. Initially, you must deal with acid pools, which mustn’t reach Swampy’s shower, but that can be used to clear algae that rapidly grows on contact with water. Relentless green ooze and switches show up in later levels, along with, oddly, mines, presumably planted by Swampy’s cohorts in an attempt to stop him hogging the shower all day long.
The game’s a gentle challenge, with oddly gloopy water (although, the game is set in sewers) reminiscent of the liquid in Feed Me Oil. But Where’s My Water? is the superior game, because it’s more organic in nature and less obsessed with a very specific, single solution to each level. There is the odd difficulty spike (although realising you can combine water and acid is useful during early stages), but we nonetheless played through the entire game in a single sitting, revelling in its regular changes in pace from slow, thoughtful puzzles to those demanding rapid reactions.
Often, ease of completion has us screaming about a lack of value, but not here. We hugely enjoyed our time with Swampy. The game looks great — Swampy has plenty of character and the cut-scenes are a reminder of creator Disney’s animation pedigree. It also controls well (bar an awkward, out-of-place scroll bar for navigating larger levels), especially on the iPad, which allows more precision (not least for younger players) due to its larger screen. And Swampy’s other obsessions — rubber duckies and collecting buried trinkets — afford the game some longevity, because while getting water to his shower can be simple, grabbing everything else along the way requires a lot more thought.