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.
The last boss stage is indeed brutal, and I remember being more than a bit frustrated when I would die and restart a ways back in the level. I came this close to having to getting a Game Over and having to restart from the beginning of the level, but I pulled it off, barely.
Finished the game last night. The last "boss" wasn't that hard at all...I think I died once or twice, but that was it. It was a very cleverly designed last challenge. I'm missing 5 drops and 9 puzzle pieces, and I think I'll come back to complete it 100%. I really loved this game. Amazing value for a 12-dollar downloadable game. The mechanics are incredibly fun and the game is designed very well, with interesting and creative challenges. It's become my favourite WiiWare game.
It's awesome, and it's long, and it manages to actually get better and better despite being long.
I honestly think that if people weren't all boo hoo about 2D/production values that this game could deserve a disk release. It's pretty much a steal on WiiWare and it saddens me that more people aren't buying/playing it.
I finally finished the game, by the way. I've gone back and retrieved most of the rainbow drops (I'm missing 5 or so), though I still have a lot of puzzle pieces to collect. While I think I'm done with the game for now, I definitely see myself replaying it in the future.
I've heard the demo is actually turning people off. One of the things the demo doesn't show off that is important to know is that very, very early on you get a power-up which lets you collect the water into a ball. Before that, it is kind of tough to control the water.
Anybody that missed out on the demo can blame me, it was available until the day I wanted to try it out, heh.
I went to get the demo last night and I'm like 'ok, where is it?'. Noticed the info about updates and some other demos added and I deduced it had been removed. Why not just create a 'demo' section and keep them all on there? Oh well...
So anyways I decided what the hell and went ahead and bought the game. So far it's pretty good, I think I'm at 11 rainbow drops after a couple hours of play. Looking forward to more abilities and I feel like my purchase has already been validated.
Ok, so I've played around four hours of Fluidity today and I'm about to go play a bit more after I post this.
I LOVE THIS GAME.
If anyone on Negative World has yet to download this title, DO SO AS SOON AS YOU CAN. It is a FANTASTIC adventure and easily one of the best (if not THE best!) games available for WiiWare. Honestly, this could have been a full retail experience for $40 and I wouldn't have complained. I really, really, REALLY love this one.