Puddle is a downloadable puzzle game made by Neko Entertainment. Orignally released on the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 earlier this year, the game has now made the move over to Sony’s newest Portable.
There is no story to Puddle. The basic premise is to move a puddle of fluid through increasingly difficult stages to reach it’s destination at the end of each level.
The fluid is moved by tilting the screen using the Vita’s touch controls. I didn’t find using the back panel very intuitive and I was happy that there is an option to switch the controls to using the shoulder buttons which made the game a lot more fun to play.
Each type of fluid has it’s own different properties that you need to aware of, as some will evaporate when it comes into contact with heat from a fire or even explode upon impact against a solid wall.
The object is to move as much of this liquid to the end of the level as possible. Lose too much on the journey and you have to try the level again from the start.
Stages are short and sweet in the beginning and get progressively longer the deeper into the game you get. However the stages never out stay their welcome, which makes it perfect for portable gaming.
The game can get frustrating in parts because it is a puzzle game at heart, but I didn’t come across any obstacles that made me want to put down the game completely.
Graphically the game is rather sub-dued. The main focus here is on your puddle and the objects in your way, rather than creating luscious environments to marvel at. That’s not to say this is a bad looking game. It succeeds in what it is trying to create and the stages take you through laboratories, forests and even the human body.
After each stage you awarded with either a Gold, Silver or Copper rating, depending on the speed you reach your destination as well as the amount of liquid you have left.
Whilst there are no multiplayer options, you are able to replay the stages as many times as you want to better your score which is then added to the world-wide leader boards, which you can filter to those on your friends list too.
I enjoyed my time with Puddle. It’s fun in short bursts. I’d recommend playing the demo first, as the aesthetic of the game will not please everyone, as won’t some of the more difficult stages. It is however another good game to add to the Vita’s library, during a time when it needs it most.