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Fluidity (Nintendo WiiWare) Review
Fluidity on the Wii
Review by 
8.76/10 from 19 user ratings
 
Fluidity is one surprising little Wiiware title. On the surface, itís just another physics-based puzzle game, but it ends up have more in common with Metroid than anything else as you gain more and more abilities. And just like in Metroid, at the end of the game when youíre finally all powered up, you feel like a bad-ass. A bad-ass puddle of water.

At the start of the game (oh, how that feels like it was so long ago), all you have is this puddle of water that you control indirectly by tilting your remote to tilt the level itself. Your puddle of water will slosh around and behave like water should, and you can make it jump by jerking the remote upward (the only flaw in the controls: it doesnít always seem to work when it should). Your goal will be to collect Rainbow Drops and to achieve that, you will have to solve simple puzzles: find a rubber ducky and bring it to a bathtub, navigate through watermills, douse some firesÖ simple stuff.


But that is just the beginning, as you will soon begin to collect new abilities, the first being the water bomb. By pressing and holding down a button, you can make all your water gather together, which opens up all sorts of platforming possibilities. Whatís more, holding down the button long enough will make the ball of water explode in all directions, useful to reach certain places and knocking away obstacles.

Eventually, you will gain the ability to transform into a block of ice, and again, that new form will open new challenges and puzzles: you will be knocking down crumbling walls, using launch pads that will sent you flying at dizzying speeds, pressing down switches, and more things your liquid form couldnít do. And at some point, you will gain the ability to become a cloud and fly freely through the levels, though you will not be able to push switches or move anything with more mass than a balloon.

There are several more abilities to gain for each of those states, but I donít want to spoil them. All I will say is that you will be impressed by the variety and the versatility of your moves by the end. It was hard for me to even remember what the early gameplay was like, because I have been sliding and swinging and slingshotting my way through the game for a while, now.


There are over one hundred things to collect in the game, but the game is by no means a collectathon: each Rainbow Drop will have to be earned. You will have to solve puzzles that are at first simple, but become more and more complex as you progress. The puzzles will involve several steps and have you switching from state to state, yet they never feel like busywork. They never seem to repeat. They simply flow naturally: as you complete one step, the next one becomes obvious, until at the end you collect your reward. It feels rewarding every time, even if they are not the most challenging. That said, there are several real head-scratchers in there that I have no clue how to tackle, thankfully you donít need them all to finish the game.

Fluidity has really taken me by surprise. There is no flash here, it is one of the most unassuming games Iíve ever played, with its calm music and simple visuals, but there is true depth to be found in it. It is also the lengthiest single player adventure I have played on Wiiware so far, with no padding. It does not recycle its own ideas over and over, and instead constantly reinvents itself.

I cannot recommend it enough.

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Posted: 12/20/10, 07:07:34  - Edited by 
 on: 02/24/13, 21:56:18    
 
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Zero said:
@Pandareus Yeah that is why I brought it up here. Bought them both last night. Cracked into lilt line a bit, and I probably agree with your review of that. It's ok, but certainly not BIT.TRIP level and I also got through like half the stages in about 20 minutes so unless they start getting hard, my overall playtime will be less than an hour. Then again it's only 5 bucks so it is tough to feel too gypped.

Oh, they do.


Posted by 
 on: 12/24/10, 22:38:28
Alright, played an hour or so of Fluidity. Awesome, awesome game. Shot right up near the top of my favorite WiiWare games list.

Everyone should download this so Nintendo continues to support smaller developers!!!


Posted by 
 on: 12/25/10, 18:49:23
Last I checked I had played it for about 13 hours (right after I got to the credits), but I've since then gone back to get some of the drops I had missed.


Posted by 
 on: 12/27/10, 02:35:08
I NEED this game.....sounds awesome. Great review Pandareus. This is definitely my next WiiWare purchase.


Posted by 
 on: 12/27/10, 02:47:48
I'm at 17 water drops and 12 puzzle pieces. This game is the real deal, yo. I hope to god people are buying it, because it's easily one of the best WiiWare games to date.

If this game doesn't end up in our Negative World GOTY top 3 for WiiWare I'm going to kill some kittens.


Posted by 
 on: 12/27/10, 08:11:01
@Zero

You're making it hard for me to not pick this up tomorrow. I already have a ton of games to play and soon that Live Points Card to use. I'll try to pick it up by the end of January.

P.S. Are images on the site not loading? The icon borders and some icons are loading but a lot of the background isn't as well as a lot of invisible items like the ones that go over the icons. It's a ? mark massacre over here.


Posted by 
 on: 12/27/10, 08:13:09
I dunno, everything is loading fine for me. Maybe your Internet is running slow for some reason?

And yeah... GO BUY FLUIDITY. It's rare that Nintendo publishes an awesome WiiWare game from a small developer, we need to support this kind of thing so Nintendo keeps doing it.


Posted by 
 on: 12/27/10, 08:15:12
@Zero

Good point on the publishing comment.

As for the site issue... I tried it in Firefox and it worked fine. Safari is just being a bitch. I'll try to empty the cache or something. I'll fix it eventually.

Yeah, restarting Safari fixed it.


Posted by 
 on: 12/27/10, 08:20:00  - Edited by 
 on: 12/27/10, 08:24:13
@Zero

Of course it's the real deal! I don't give high scores willy-nilly!


Posted by 
 on: 12/27/10, 22:05:44
I know, I'm just highly second-ing this because it's such a great game that seems to be (strangely) getting next to no hype around here. I'd write my own review but you covered it pretty well and I'm kind of super busy at the moment. I guess it released at a bit of a weird time but still, people should be playing this game!

I'm at about 20 water drops now and it just gets better and better. The pinball machine was such a random and fun diversion. Game overall is a pretty nice mix of platforming and puzzles. The Metroid-esque map set-up just adds to the enjoyment. So good!


Posted by 
 on: 12/27/10, 22:17:58  - Edited by 
 on: 12/27/10, 22:18:29
I played the demo this weekend, and I really liked it. I may have to download the full thing one of these days.


Posted by 
 on: 12/27/10, 22:32:33
@gamewizard65

If need be, I can offer myself up to receive said Santa gift so Santa doesn't feel all "coal in his stocking" for using the points himself... ;)


Posted by 
 on: 12/29/10, 06:52:52
I'm pretty close to finding every rainbow drop, only 3 remaining.

The game has the same flaw that every Metroid-y game shares: you get at a point where you feel you've explored every corner, and yet you obviously haven't because you missed stuff, but damn if you can figure out where. So you comb every each of areas you've already explored, and the game gets a bit tedious.

But just like in Metroid, you kind of can't level that against the game, as finding everything is optional.

Still, I wonder if I'm gonna get an extended ending.


Posted by 
 on: 12/29/10, 16:58:04  - Edited by 
 on: 12/29/10, 16:59:01
@Pandareus

Maybe you'll get to see the water without it's helmet.


Posted by 
 on: 12/29/10, 19:50:20
@Pandareus

Water and oil do mix. In fact, they had a child.



Posted by 
 on: 12/29/10, 20:08:54
@Pandareus I was just about to say, that is the point in Metroid games when I stop caring. I've never completed any 100%, except for Prime 3 (I think?) which has that place where you can get a map that shows where all the items are.

In fact, I kind of like that feeling when you finish a game, are super satisfied with everything you did, and still feel like there is a ton more out there you missed. It makes the game feel huge and neverending. Prime 3 sort of killed the illusion for me, because by the time I got to that map I realized I almost had everything already anyway. And then I started to wonder if that were the case in the older Metroid games, and maybe they didn't have quite as many secrets as I always thought...


Posted by 
 on: 12/29/10, 20:13:33  - Edited by 
 on: 12/29/10, 20:15:30
@Simbabbad

Glad to hear it!

I'm also glad the demo isn't turning off too many people from the game (based on the circumstancial evidence in this thread). It was good enough of a demo to get me to buy the game, sure, but it's pretty limited and non-representative of the full game. Actually, as soon as you get the first ability, Gather, then the game stops playing like the demo, basically.

edit - Oh yeah, and I did check out the gamefaqs forums, actually, and found what I was looking for. Still, it doesn't eliminate this "flaw" in Metroidy games.


Posted by 
 on: 12/29/10, 20:51:10  - Edited by 
 on: 12/29/10, 20:52:55
Yeah, a completionist's life is a hard one, but they kind of bring it upon themselves.


Posted by 
 on: 12/29/10, 21:06:34
The demo impressed me, and this review just confirms that I should buy this game.


Posted by 
 on: 12/30/10, 01:11:52
I did it! I collected every rainbow drop! using the gamefaqs board's help!

I didn't get a special ending for collecting all the drops. I didn't see my blob of water spare the last of the Influence (the enemies in the game) nor did I see it come to my help and sacrifice itself at the last moment to save its surrogate mother. No, what I got is a rainbow bookmark for my save file. I think. I may have gotten it when I beat the game and didn't notice.

Anyway, great game.

@Simbabbad

Yeah, it did. And Metroid Fusion with its "counter by area" alleviated the problem a lot as well.

Fluidity sort of has that for the rainbow drops, but it was still kind of a pain to scour the panels trying to find that last breakable or pass-through wall.


Posted by 
 on: 12/30/10, 03:34:50  - Edited by 
 on: 12/30/10, 03:35:21
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