6 Overall Score
Gameplay: 6/10
Graphics: 6/10
Replayability: 5/10

Fun concept | Challenging | Skip option

Frustrating at times | Lack of direction

A little idea that sparked off at GDC 2010 has now made its way all the way over to the XBLA platform. Picked up by Konami and developed by Neko Entertainment, Puddle is a physics based 2D puzzle game that is sure to wrack your brains for the sum of $9.99 (800 MS points).

The game has a very simple concept, the camera is focused on a blob of liquid and you must tilt the environment using only two buttons to manipulate the blob around the environment, that is all. It sort of borrows the concept from Mercury Hg also on XBLA but instills it into a 2D constricted environment. The game may seem very simple but the levels are sometimes quite intricately hard. You traverse each level following the view point of a new liquid each time. You begin in some pipeworks and move along through weirder & wackier levels like a human body, a car, a forest, etc.

Each environment has its own hazards and obstacles (electricity, fly traps, torches, switches, etc.) you must overcome to complete the level. However, it’s never just as simple as that. Simply getting across to the other end will not suffice, you must ensure that you have brought about a satisfactory amount of the liquid you were allotted in the beginning to the finish line to even complete a level. Failing to do so results in a…….fail! There is another major factor that plays along with this attribute, which is time. Completing a level quicker and with more liquid equals a higher score, ranking from Copper (Cu), Silver (Ag) to Gold (Au).

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that the game is easy though only because it is based on a simple concept, it does get quite challenging at times owing to the fact that there is absolutely no narrative within the game. The only hints or tips you will ever receive in-game are the subtle arrows that are showered along your path. There is however one frustration avoiding feature embedded into the game, the one which gives you the ability to skip levels. Mind however that this feature is not one to be abused, you can only skip a maximum of two levels in the whole of story mode and once used, they are over….unless you go back and complete them. It is by no means the biggest life saver in the world yet one to be used with care and caution.

The audio included in this game isn’t anything to be applauded about and yet one that blends in well with the game. As for the graphics, they are so-so. Besides a few colourful splotches here and there, it’s mostly a canvas filled with dark and depressing shades.The physics work well but the controls can sometimes be a bit iffy. Once your puddle runs away from the screen, it disappears permanently making the game just that much more frustrating to complete at times. There is a great variety of levels and any puzzle fanatic will definitely be entertained for a long while with Puddle. It may not be the best puzzle game out there but it truly deserves the demo. Go check it out folks!


Author: DntMessWitRohan View all posts by
I love all sorts of gaming but I truly admire the XBLA & XBLIG Marketplace. I'm a student at the moment but working towards bigger & better things!! Follow me on Twitter: @DntMessWitRohan :D