I’d seen Where’s My Water? bobbing around near the top of the charts for several weeks, but had never committed my valuable time to it because it had such a rubbish name, was made by Disney and starred a crocodile called Swampy.
It sounded that little bit too much like the sort of book you read to a toddler – with a crocodile not finding water for the best part of ten pages, then building up to a climax of ‘There’s my water!’ and a reeling infant with a mind that’s just been blown.
The likes of David Cage wouldn’t recommend that sort of story to me on the pages of Hookshot Inc though – his narrative goes FAR beyond that sort of farrago. A failed Swampy would point at his own tears and the climax to the tale and say ‘There’s my water’, before having a massive fight with some level furniture that’s unexpectedly turned out to be from another dimension.
So anyway, if you’re keeping up to speed, we all know what Where’s My Water isn’t. So what is it? Well, it’s an iPhone and Android game that deals with the same liquid physics as the lo-fi simulation computer programs I used to play with in the school computer room when proper games were banned. As such, it’s brilliant.
Swampy is a reptile who’s faintly obsessed with cleaning himself, so your mission on each screen is to create channels through layers of dirt to funnel a bouncy form of liquid to the nozzle that connects to his shower. Dragging a finger will create holes for the water to flow down, while there are also pumps that’ll fire water across the screen, bombs that’ll throw liquids skyward and maze-like connecting pipes that’ll have you biting your tongue while you work out where your water will spurt from next.
On a platform where cartoon animals are likely to one day achieve sentience and take over, Swampy too is a fantastic mascot – well designed and endearing even to the hardest of hearts. You dearly want to spray that poor chap with lovingly funnelled water, and achieve great satisfaction in doing so.
Hurray and huzzah, then, for a game that sounds like it should be awful – but (wait for it) when put alongside the likes of Cut the Rope really does hold water. Thank you, I’m here all week. Well, maybe not over weekends sometimes – but we’re working on that.