When you hear a game is “mediocre,” it doesn’t bring the most flattering thoughts to mind. Fortunately, Sprinkle: Water Splashing Fire Fighting Fun! from Mediocre AB is far better than the seller’s name might lead you to believe.
Sprinkle is an interesting, perhaps even ambitious, exercise in combining different gameplay styles into a satisfying whole. The premise behind Sprinkle is that a space tour bus has carelessly driven through one of the rings of Saturn, sending debris showering down on Titan, one of the planet’s moons. Upon entering the atmosphere, these meteors catch fire and land near the homes of the moon’s indigenous lifeforms, the Titans, threatening to burn away everything these (ironically) tiny blue creatures have worked their whole lives for.
Wait, rocks don’t float’¦
Fortunately, the Titans were smart enough to assemble a local fire department to handle such fiery emergencies, and that is where you come in. Taking control of the stationary firetruck’s crane arm and the water cannon atop it, you raise and lower the cannon and alter its angle in order to spray water to wherever the flames may be. But you mustn’t dawdle; meteor fires are tough to put out, and their flames spread across the landscape, endangering the populace.
And therein lies the game: the bulk of Sprinkle is a water physics game in which you must sparingly spray your water across the terrain in order to help it reach the places it is needed most. What’s more, you must put out every last trace of the fires while avoiding the complete expenditure of your H2O supply before the job is done. The more water you have remaining, the more points you receive.
Life hangs in the balance.
On a side note, the game’s page on the iTunes web page states that “Due to popular demand the full set of levels is now available without needing to get full score on previous levels.” However, this is not the case in the game we downloaded, nor have we been able to find any newer updates on iTunes. As it stands, the previous level must be completed to move on, so if you’re stuck on a particular level, then you’re stuck, period, and cannot try another. Perhaps it merely means you no longer have to pass with a certain number of points, but it’s still mildly disappointing if you would rather move on and come back to it later.
As the game progresses, more tricks, traps, and obstacles are gradually introduced into the landscapes. Large wooden wheels that can carry your water to a further destination pop up, buttons appear to trigger doors and moving walls, blocks of rock and ice can be moved to help create a path for your stream of water, and structures made of wooden beams or piles of rocks can be blasted apart as well.
Despite the occasional difficulty spike, Sprinkle is still a enjoyable little game, and the Titans are just charming enough that you really do want to help them save their homes. So if you enjoy physics-based puzzle games that might bear a bit of repetition, then Sprinkle is a solid game with lots of liquid fun. It’s a gas.