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 moderators, 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.

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Apparently some people are upset at Hyrule Warriors Legends calling it "the most expensive DLC", to quote a well known former writer of the site "they're Nintendo fans, that's what they do" complain.
Barry Kelly avatarBarry Kelly
God damn Xenonauts is brutal on Ironman mode. Oh well, time to start again.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Out of morbid curiosity, whats your favorite handheld gaming machine?
ShadeOfLight avatarShadeOfLight
Who's that Dtoider?! [img][/img]
wutangclam avatarwutangclam
Pathologic Classic HD just got announced and holy crap am I excited. If you haven't played the game, keep your eyes on this one. It's the very definition of an underrated title. Though I'm not sure what'll happen to the remake that was being shown...
El Dango avatarEl Dango
My opinion on Tomba has changed, now I dig it again. Stay tuned for updates.
techsupport avatartechsupport
MGO is a blast and after playing for a few hours as each class, I'm glad I stuck with Infiltrator.
CblogRecaps avatarCblogRecaps
So assuming the terrible blog tools functions correctly, soon there may be a nefarious call to arms. So keep an eye out and hope there isn't a typo due to light-grey on white background text.
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Gonna have a date tonight ? Here's a song for you. [youtube][/youtube]
LinkSlayer64 avatarLinkSlayer64
[youtube][/youtube] And yes, this is video game related!
Nathan D avatarNathan D
"Everlasting. True love. I am yours." -Rule of Rose T^T
Shinta avatarShinta
MGO's pretty fun! I suck at it though. I mostly hang back and just mark enemies and get the occasional sniper kill. It's pretty fun to be semi-useful with a very hands off role like that. Love my avatar character guy too.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
Fuck Insecticons
nanashi avatarnanashi
they pooped in my food they pooped in my food they pooped in my food they pooped in my food
Robo Panda Z avatarRobo Panda Z
I have been accused of the greatest of crimes - cookie snobbery.
KyWii avatarKyWii
Rock Band 4 is really fun...takes me back to my teenage days of high school. Also reminds me of all the hours I wasted on a plastic guitar instead of getting better on a real one xD
Avoclefo avatarAvoclefo
Team Fortress 2 just got a massive community-made Invasion update. SFM short, reskins, cosmetics, and 4 brand new maps?!?! God, I love this game and its wonderful community so, so much. [youtube][/youtube]
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
AARRGGGHHHH!!!, GODDAMIT!, fucking SOMA has crashed 3 fucking times in a row and I always lose ~20 minutes of playtime!, playing the same section over and over kinda ruins the tension! >.<'
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
N-Not that P1 isn't perfect the way she is! Isn't that right sweetie? Yes it... Oh, now don't you go and listen to those P2 fans! They just go around spreading rumors and pretending Hitler was just a handsome gentleman in sunglasses, that's what THEY do!
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Persona Q has made me realize I really want a Persona 1 remake on 3DS in a similar style. A lot. A loooooooot. You listening, Atlus?
more quickposts


destructoid's previous coverage:

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


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 -