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.
You've got me hyped for this. I wanted to get it eventually but wasn't in a hurry... granted I only played a few minutes of the demo which doesn't sound representative of the full game at all. Now I may just have to go ahead and buy it as soon as I pick up my next Wii points card!
I hesitated giving it a 10 just for fear that others might not be as impressed with it as I am and accuse me of overrating it. But in the end, eff that, I truly believe this is a better game than World of Goo. But as I said, it's pretty subdued, unlike so many indie games that go either for flash or for quirk. I think that might work against it for some people.
But that's not to say the game doesn't look appealing. I quite like the simple style they have going on. The music, also: it's nothing I'd want the soundtrack of, unlike World of Goo, but while playing the game it fits perfectly.
Starting off the week with a bang, eh? Or a splash, or whatever. I loved the demo. Like, significantly more than World of Goo. I'm sure I'll love the game. This is a usage of physics that I actually give a shit about. And it's on the Wii!!
There was an interview in Nintendo Power with Curve, the development studio. They seem like really cool, earnest cats with a love for classic Nintendo values. I am impressed with them.
Ooo, I also just found a good IGN interview with many of the same points. Something about hits, yada yada...
I'd love it on 3DS (with some into-the-screen tilt?). Sequel, rather than port, please.
A sequel would be interesting, although I fear it would only be a rethread of the same puzzles. I mean, they pushed the idea so much farther than I thought was possible already, I can't imagine they had tons of leftover ideas they haven't put into the game.
And just to be clear, when I say the puzzles don't repeat, don't get me wrong: you'll find yourself getting a gear to its mechanism several times over the course of the game, but they always seem to find some new way for you to do it.
Also, it's probably worth mentionning that I usually dislike physics-based anything: puzzlers, platformers you name it.
Came in expecting a 9, and I will leave pleasantly surprised.
It's really a great game. Admittedly I haven't dug that deep into it yet (just got the ice-form's special ability), but from the style, the controls, to the gameplay and puzzles - everything works very well. Perfect game for a pick-up-and-play sessions.
Of note, however, I showed Fluidity to my girlfriend and she was immediately turned off by the tilting of the screen. She couldn't even bear to look at the screen, it almost made her sick. I suppose that if you are prone to motion-sickness then this game just isn't for you. Everyone else should give it a shot though, it's brilliant.
@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.
Haven't had time to try out Fluidity yet, I was downloading at 4 in the morning. Looks super cool though.
I did download the Frobot demo and try that out, kind of bored me fast. Wasn't really interested in the game anyway though, just was in a download-ey mood and the demo was right there.