On the basis that alligators spend much of their existence roaming swampy water, you could have been forgiven for thinking that all members of the species have a somewhat mediaeval attitude towards personal hygiene.
Seemingly determined not to be tarred with the same brush, Swampy, the star of Where’s My Water, has ambitions to lead a more human-like existence. So he needs to shower.
His ambitions have made him about as popular with his fellow gators as Lord Voldemort at Harry Potter’s birthday party, and in an attempt to ostracise Swampy they've conspired to sabotage his water supply.
This conflict provides the basis for a charming water-based puzzler complete with wonderfully animated visuals that are as good as you’d expect from a title bearing the Disney name.
Your mission is to restore Swampy’s water supply to his underground bathroom by safely redirecting it through the ground. You create channels by dragging your finger through the dirt, guiding it past obstacles and into pipes. In some levels there's a constant stream of water, while in others there's a finite amount, meaning you can't let any of it go to waste.
Transporting water isn’t as straightforward as moving it from point A to point B due to the presence of elements such as valves and switches and hazardous ooze and chemicals. If these manage to find their way into Swampy’s bathtub, you will fail the level.
However, these chemicals can be used in your favour as they can destroy parasitic plants which can cause an impenetrable blockade if it makes contact with water.
Providing enough water for Swampy to fulfil his hygienic aspirations is your primary objective, but to complete each level and achieve a high score you have to collect the three rubber ducks which populate each level.
Ducks are collected once a certain amount of water has passed through their silhouettes, and their often awkward locations will force you to employ more complex strategies with your limited resources.
Levels are divided into themed chapters, linked together with superbly animated cut-scenes which show off Disney's production values. Giving the impression of one of Disney’s animated features, they lend a degree of class and humour to the game which serves as evidence of the effort put into Where’s My Water.
The screenshots may convince you that this is a game for children, but the task of collecting all three ducks isn't child's play. Levels aren’t insurmountable, though, and once you’ve learned how the water reacts, persistence is eventually rewarded. Although not the most challenging game of its type, this balanced difficulty level makes it very accessible.
But this test of speed and precision is hampered by the insufficient tools provided. Imprecise touch controls make it difficult to dig a perfectly sized channel, and the awkward scroll bar used to view levels which are larger than the screen results in frequent mistakes.
However, these technical faults are easy to forgive and are not great impediments to the game’s 80 levels, which Disney has promised to supplement in the future. Where’s My Water’s brilliant visuals, simple controls, and balanced difficulty ensure that its well-executed ideas should appeal to a wide audience.
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