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Fluidity review

Solid
AT A GLANCE
  • Storybook design
  • Water physics
  • Loads of content
  • Finicky jump controls
  • Bland background music
  • Lack of human personality

Fluidity is a funny little puzzle game that sports a puddle of water as its main protagonist; however, you don’t get to control the water by any conventional means. Instead, the game sports a movement mechanic very similar to those ball-in-a-maze puzzles you used to play with as a kid. In order to move the water from one point to another, you must tilt the entire level. This simple design feature makes for a puzzle game that is incredibly fresh and genuinely satisfying to play.

The story is centered upon a magical book called the Aquaticus, which has become corrupted by some black sludge called the Influence (not to be confused with the jazz guitar album by Jimmy Raney). It’s up to you to use the Aquaticus’ remaining clean water to clear out this gook from its four chapters and restore the old tome to its former power.

Each stage takes place in a page of the Aquaticus. You rotate the level by holding your controller horizontally and then tilting it to the left or right. Your goal for each chapter is to seek out Rainbow Drops by moving across hazardous terrain or solving physics-based puzzles. For example, you might be tasked with transporting two helpless goldfish into an empty fishbowl that just happens to be located on an island that’s separated from you by a pit of acid and some rotating platforms. For a downloadable game, Fluidity sports some really impressive water physics and this is where it derives all of its challenge. During these puzzles, the game forces you to keep control of the large pool of water as it pours and spills. Spread the water out too thin and it will begin to evaporate. Lose too much and you’ll lose a life.

As this is a WiiWare game, there’s a great deal of emphasis on motion control without those pesky button inputs getting in the way. Now, while the motion controller design proves to be the game’s major strength, it is also the game’s biggest source of needless frustration. The tilt mechanics are near perfect; however, certain puzzles require that you make your puddle of water or block of ice jump by flicking the Wiimote up in the air. This works about 90% of the time.

While four chapters may not seem like much, they are all stuffed with a ton of things for you to do and plenty of areas to explore. The chapters of Fluidity all sport Metroid-esque designs in that you won’t be able to access certain areas until you gain certain water forms (block of ice, cloud, etc). Likewise, collecting Rainbow Drops isn’t the only thing you can do. Collecting golden puzzle pieces unlocks special-challenge bonus stages for you to mess around in.

Fluidity is a game that’s just plain fun. The puzzles aren’t too difficult and absolutely gratifying to solve. Just as well, the storybook approach paints a very pretty picture with brightly colored levels and relatively simple design. This game is well worth the $12 price tag.

Jan 6, 2011

More Info

Release date: Dec 06 2010 - Wii (US)
Dec 06 2010 - Wii (UK)
Available Platforms: Wii
Genre: Puzzle
Published by: Nintendo
Developed by: Curve Studios
ESRB Rating:
Everyone: Comic Mischief

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9 comments

  • Ravenbom - February 9, 2011 10:07 p.m.

    Sounds like a 2D Super Monkey Ball. I might pick this up at some point.
  • fartinapot - January 9, 2011 8:20 a.m.

    Man! GR was late with this review! I've had this game for 4 weeks!
  • EnragedTortoise1 - January 7, 2011 1:16 p.m.

    Yeah, feels more like a... *duhhhhnnn*... 8! *le gasp* Or an 8.5. Whatever.
  • inSovietRussiaDatesRecallBrettElston - January 7, 2011 11:22 a.m.

    apparently there's still a chance of the wii getting a retail release of meat boy. anyways, am i the only one who feels like this review doesn't read like a 7?
  • grappler51 - January 7, 2011 3:11 a.m.

    @bobbybroccoli No, the Wii versions of SMB was canceled because of size restrictions for WiiWare downloads. It might still get a retail release though. I'd recommend the PC version, I have it and It's excellent. The keyboard controls are great, it's even better with a gamepad. You can get it on Steam.
  • bobbybroccoli - January 7, 2011 2 a.m.

    I'll only buy anything on wiiware if it has the words "super" "meat" and "boy" in the title. Is the wii still getting that game?
  • paganpoet - January 7, 2011 12:29 a.m.

    So you don't tilt the level in Loco Roco to guide your character instead of controlling them directly? Hmmm...
  • Aletheon - January 7, 2011 12:13 a.m.

    It's nothing like loco roco, actually.
  • paganpoet - January 6, 2011 11:51 p.m.

    Doesn't the gameplay sound like Loco Roco to anyone else?

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