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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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I gotta say, still totally love this game, but man... it has some pretty difficult platforming. Which in and of itself is no big deal, I love a challenge, but it does kind of make me wish it had a normal jump button instead of waggle jump. Especially when you are trying to do the wall stick and then jump to another wall stick, etc.


Posted by 
 on: 01/02/11, 11:36:41
I got the game a few days ago and put in some time with it (up to second chapter now). It was okay at first but once you start unlocking new abilities and realize that you can return to previous stages to explore even more, the game really picks up and becomes great. I'll agree with @Zero and say that I wish the jumping was assigned to a button instead (why must developers always force unnecessary motion controls?) as the timing can sometimes get confusing when you're trying to keep your water in one spot, make sure it doesn't explode from charging it too long and avoid falling in water evaporating pits by balancing things with the controller. It hasn't caused me to die yet but I have lost a ton of water. Thankfully it seems easy enough to refill it.

Still, awesome game for what it is and glad I picked this one up. Great and original title for WiiWare


Posted by 
 on: 01/03/11, 05:56:52
Seems to me like this game would have been better served on PSP with LocoRoco style controls. It also seems extremely familiar to this:



Posted by 
 on: 01/14/11, 20:21:47  - Edited by 
 on: 01/14/11, 20:23:47
I can't really see what's going on in that video. Hard to see if the gameplay is similar. The music sure sounds like LocoRoco, though.

I don't think LocoRoco controls would work better, no. The only reason they work in that game is because it's so slow-paced, in Fluidity it would be incredibly frustrating. Controlling the block of ice that way would be a nightmare.

And while jumping in Fluidity isn't ideal, the LocoRoco scheme doesn't work better.


Why am I still the only person to have rated this game?


Posted by 
 on: 01/14/11, 20:28:43
Simbabbad said:
@gencid

Why? Everybody seems to enjoy the tilt controls, which are much more responsive and precise (and are analog) than two trigger buttons.
1. Portability Factor
2. Pick up & play gameplay (better fitted for short sessions)
3. Style & presentation
4. LocoRoco controls precedent

I agree that tilt controls work fine, but being more responsive and precise than L & R triggers? No.


Posted by 
 on: 01/14/11, 20:29:03
@gencid

I guess the first 3 are your preferences, but #4 is flat out wrong.

But the responsiveness doesn't show too well in videos, however, simply because the level doesn't tilt on your screen as fast as it does in terms of gameplay, i.e. the tilting effect affects the block of ice before the screen shows an incline that would actually change the block of ice's movement.

You can actually adjust the speed at which the level tilts visually in the options, but by default it looks more sluggish than it actually plays.

I think they added screen lag by default to prevent motion sickness.


Posted by 
 on: 01/14/11, 20:36:13  - Edited by 
 on: 01/14/11, 20:47:59
@Simbabbad

They make plenty of sense to me. On the contrary, your comment doesn't make any sense. With motion controls, you have to move your wrists left or right and "wait for the screen to get there". Now if your wrists are faster than your fingers, color me impressed. In addition, motion controls are NOT EVEN CLOSE to being as precise as a button press. LocoRoco controlled fine and it is one of the best games on PSP. Let's just agree to disagree and leave it at that.

@Pandareus

That could be. I haven't played the game on Wii to have any idea how it feels. I am only going by the videos and my experience with LocoRoco on PSP.


Posted by 
 on: 01/14/11, 20:37:21  - Edited by 
 on: 01/14/11, 20:40:27
@gencid

Read my post. You don't wait for the screen to get there.

Don't leave it at agreeing to disagree! There's a demo you can download, play it for yourself, don't just watch videos.


Posted by 
 on: 01/14/11, 20:39:08  - Edited by 
 on: 01/14/11, 20:39:31
@Pandareus

Didn't know there was a demo. Ok than, I'll come back after I play the demo. :)

@Simbabbad

I explained why I thought the game would have been better on PSP. I know it's a WiiWare game. I thought you had better reading comprehension than that. I will give this a final try.

1. Game is pick up and play. I like to play pick up and play games on the go, not by sitting on my ass at home.
2. When I sit on my ass at home, I like to dedicate that time to full length console games, not something that looks like a flash game on my HDTV.
3. The style of gameplay reminds me of LocoRoco and Downstream Panic. Both great PSP games. That's why PSP seems a natural fit for it.
4. I am not convinced that tilt controls are better than button presses, but then again I haven't played this game yet. Hence all of the above.

I am going to shut up now and come back after I play the demo on Wii.


Posted by 
 on: 01/14/11, 20:51:58  - Edited by 
 on: 01/14/11, 21:17:54
The demo kind of sucks, because you never get the ability to gather your water which is IMO essential to the gameplay.

But, Fluidity has great controls. They're very fluid. Heh.

I'll rate the game when I'm done, Pandareus. Enjoying this one in short bursts of 30-45 min every few days. Don't rush me!!


Posted by 
 on: 01/14/11, 21:04:56
@Pandareus Because I'm still playing it. It's a meaty WiiWare game! I'll rate it (highly) soon enough.

gencid said:

3. The style of gameplay reminds me of LocoRoco and Downstream Panic. Both great PSP games. That's why PSP seems a natural fit for it.

But neither of those is actually a natural "fit" for PSP, they both seem more suited for the DS audience. It'd be like saying Gears 3 is a natural fit for Wii because we have Goldeneye and The Conduit. And if you mean a natural fit for the strengths of the platform itself, I just don't see it.

As Anon says, the demo doesn't have the gathering move, which is pretty essential to the controls (and you gain very early into the full game...)


Posted by 
 on: 01/14/11, 21:26:32
anon_mastermind said:
I'll rate the game when I'm done, Pandareus. Enjoying this one in short bursts of 30-45 min every few days. Don't rush me!!

Same here. It seems like the perfect game to play for short 30-45 minute chunks. I've been taking my time with the game and I'm enjoying it immensely. Panda, you weren't kidding when you said the game was long -- I've been playing for quite a few hours and I'm guessing I'm only half way through.


Posted by 
 on: 01/16/11, 00:46:49
@Zero

PSP has a widescreen and its L/R triggers are more ergonomic than DS. LocoRoco and Downstream Panic both take advantage of that. I think they play perfectly on PSP and they wouldn't work as well on DS's smaller screens (DSi XL could work though). You are right on the intended audience, but just because certain consoles have a certain image among the gamers or media, doesn't mean they can't be home to some unique games that may or may not appeal the mainstream audiences of that console. As a matter of fact, their uniqueness compared to the norm makes me appreciate them even more.


Posted by 
 on: 01/17/11, 01:02:54  - Edited by 
 on: 01/17/11, 01:06:15
I tried the demo today. It was fun, but I get board of 'tilt' games very quickly. I'm not getting the full version, but it's great to see more quality games on WiiWare.


Posted by 
 on: 01/17/11, 02:51:13
@Cube191

What tilt games have a Metroid design, though?


Posted by 
 on: 01/17/11, 03:18:10
I just got X-Scape because of your reviews. You need to stop. Now.


Posted by 
 on: 01/17/11, 07:56:57
Pandareus said:
@Cube191

What tilt games have a Metroid design, though?

You make a good point, but I don't like Metriod games either.


Posted by 
 on: 01/17/11, 12:42:48
Cube191 said:
but I don't like Metriod games either.



Kidding.


Posted by 
 on: 01/17/11, 16:17:43
My god, I hate the last boss level so much. I've tried and failed twice now. The worst part is I keep dying near the end, and then it takes me back quite a ways and I have to keep repeating the same stuff over and over. It's honestly making me hate Fluidity, which is sad because I've really enjoyed the game up until now.


Posted by 
 on: 02/01/11, 02:53:09
Shit, I've just been bumming around for a few hours collecting random shit but I think I'll tackle the final boss tonight, see what it's all about.


Posted by 
 on: 02/01/11, 19:39:15
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