Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Review: Puddle

9:00 AM on 01.31.2013 // Chris Carter

A minor eShop splash

The story of Puddle is a tale of triumph. A group of students had the opportunity to have their game published by Konami after winning a 2010 GDC Independent Games Festival award -- pretty much every young developer's dream.

When it was actually released however, they were introduced to the real world -- the polarizing world of the games press -- when it received mixed reception for the sometimes frustrating level design.

Fast forward to 2013, and they've had an opportunity to address a number of issues, and enhance the game visually for the Wii U eShop. Let's see how the next chapter pans out.

Puddle (Mac, PC, PlayStation Network, PlayStation Vita, Wii U eShop [reviewed], Xbox Live Arcade)
Developer: Neko Entertainment
Publisher: Konami
Released: January 31, 2013 
MSRP: $9.99

At its core, Puddle is a very simple game. You rotate the screen so that water can flow from one side of the level to the other. That's really it. But once you progress past the tutorial-esque levels, you'll find a fairly challenging, sometimes unique, and often frustrating little 49 level adventure.

The Wii U version adds some extra benefits that other platforms cannot boast: 1080p, 60 frames per second, remote play, leaderboards, and optional motion controls. That last bit is key here, as forced GamePad integration could have been a deal-breaker for a lot of potential buyers.

In fact, there's three control schemes: the analog stick, tilt, and ZL and ZR (the latter of which is the best option by far). Kudos to the developers for not forcing anything on gamers and giving them the option -- it's part of the reason why the Wii U is one of my recent go-to gaming choices.

What I like most about Puddle is that even though the gameplay is relatively the same throughout, the themes are constantly switched so it feels like you're playing a different version of it fairly often.

The liquid you control tells a story as you weave your way through the game's different themes. One minute you might be helping a spilt coffee cup make its way through a corridor, the other, you're a drink making your way through the human body.

But while the concept may play out like it's supposed to most of the time, frustration can rear its ugly head fairly often. For one, you have no control over the camera at all, leaving you at the mercy of two total functions: rotate the screen left or right.

You'll constantly find your stream of liquid broken up into little bits, forcing you to essentially guess where the other bits are littered across the map. The camera will only follow the lead trail, which can get extremely annoying when the game fails you because you needed that last bit of liquid that's just out of your vision.

Another concern is that the game takes a little while to get started. The journey is around four hours long, but it takes a good hour or so until Puddle starts to explore more interesting concepts. Thankfully, there are a heap of challenges, in-game achievements, and online leaderboards to keep you playing after you're done.

For over thirty minutes, you're kind of saying to yourself "ok, I get it, the water sloshes around when I tilt the screen." That is until you get into the real cool concepts like moving a beaker of liquid across a level without spilling, controlling fuel through the air across a zero gravity rocket, or urinating on a rat and killing it. When weird concepts like that happen, the game really clicks, and it feels wholly unique.

In regards to other improvements besides the Wii U integration and the visual output, Neko Entertainment has stated that they aimed to fix some of the trial and error problems that plagued the original release with the eShop version of the game.

But from what I can tell, as someone who played the original, there's still a lot of parts that will make you want to pull your hair out that almost come without warning (mostly due to the camera woes.) Even though you get four "Whines" (level skips, that you can regain if you go back and do the level legit), it doesn't excuse the sometimes shoddy design.

Fans of LocoRoco or those hurting for games to play on their Wii U will probably dig it, so long as they have the patience to rev it up a little bit. It's still a neat little puzzler for sure, but it needs a bit more tweaking for me to wholly recommend it. If you've always been on the edge in terms of buying this game, this release should tip you, as it's the definitive version.



Puddle - Reviewed by Chris Carter
Amicable - A presentable but unmemorable time. Focusing on the bright spots helps, and I appreciate the effort, but I won't be playing this repeatedly.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Chris Carter, Reviews Director
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidChris Tips
Chris (Magnalon) has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff! -----------... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

On The Fence

Persona Still Reigns Perfection

Cblogs of 11/30/2015 + Saudi Arabian Ban Hammer

Eleven indie games that will CHANGE YOUR LIFE in 2016

Should 'Mercy Spoilers' be a thing?

Thankful It's Over: Assassin's Creed 2

Virtua Memories: Virtua Fighter/Remix (Virtua Fighter Month)

FNF: Christmas toime is hear

Tales of Zestiria Review (PC)

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
Man, I completely forgot how awesome Pokemon Black and White's soundtrack is. The Vs. Trainers theme is probably one of the best I ever heard, if not the best in the entire series: [youtube][/youtube]
EdgyDude avatarEdgyDude
Indivisible's campaign is over $1.4 million! just a little more!
Dum, dum, dum! Another blog bites the dust! And another done, and another done! Another blog bites the dust! #RIPtumblrbecausefuckit
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Ugh, I've been sick for what feels like 3 weeks. If I die I leave all my games casket because they're mine. Stay away! *hiss, hiss*
TysonOfTime avatarTysonOfTime
Apparently the upcoming Tri-Force heroes update makes the local-play only items possible to get for everyone. That's pretty great!
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
What youtubers y'all watch? I need more.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Playing For Glory earlier today, some guy beat me and changed his name to "ifukdu_up". I won next round and he changed it to "ILETUWIN". I then 2-0ed the little sucker, and he left the lobby. I took great pride from this incident.
Dalek Sex avatarDalek Sex
Henshin into a person with a larger disposable income.
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
Why the hell are we suddenly accepting micro transactions in fully priced games? It used to be only acceptable in free-to-play games but its sickening that even AAA developers like microsoft are on the bandwagon.
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
If you're ever writing about something from the heart, and you stop and think "I don't know how people will react to me if I write this" then you absolutely should go ahead. Passionate conviction is often the only voice you'll have.
VeryImportantQuestion avatarVeryImportantQuestion
Wait a second...has the blog editor been changed with the idea being that the formatting be done in Word or something and then pasted in? Have I been using it wrong these last few posts?
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
guys I'm standing in a Target looking at a Xenoblade X special edition what do I do
Zer0t0nin avatarZer0t0nin
Dear Dortmund Zoo: how's it possible for people to steal 3 monkeys, 3 squirrels and 2 penguins while killing a manatee and another penguin since April and you still have no clue how to stop this?
WryGuy avatarWryGuy
We got Xbone! We got Xbone! We got Xbone! We got Xbone! We got Xbone! [img][/img]
Flegma avatarFlegma
Two more reasons not to preorder: the game might appear in stores before release day (Hello, Xenoblade Chronicles X for 60EUR at my local mall) or the mail workers may be on strike (well, they were until Monday).
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
ModDb's MOTY (Mod of the Year) votes are up, there's quite a TON of interesting mods this year, give it a look and vote for your favorite! ---
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Hey, US Pokemon fans! Apparently if you just rename your SSID to Mcdonalds Free Wifi, you don't even need to go anywhere to get your Hoopas. Seems like they could've just made this one a normal download.
Archelon avatarArchelon
It may have been a war of attrition, but I just took out a Snowspeeder on foot in Battlefront. Aww, yeah.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Last night, for one reason or another I watched the endings of bloodborne via vaatividya, and in so doing made myself sad that I will never get to play it. Still cool that they seem to have really nailed that lovecraftian exestential horror and despair.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
[img][/img] やらないか?
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -