I wanted to call this review “Drip Drip: The Only Acceptable Flood” in honor of the recent release of Halo 4, but decided that people might come into this with the wrong idea, expecting to control tiny flood-ites instead of impossibly cute water collecting implements. Which is what happens in Drip Drip. Armed with buckets, trash cans, barrels, and pots, it's up to you, a Water Collecting Super Savant, to save 25 randomly selected homes, castles, and casinos from a Super Storm.
So the premise itself is a little weak, and really only mentioned on the introduction screen, but then Drip Drip isn't really a narrative. It's a puzzle/strategy game very reminiscent of the “Dash-style” genre, where the player is given a set of tools and asked to fulfill objectives under increasingly difficult strain.
The strain, in this case, is water. Presented with, what can only be described as 25 of the leakiest structures in the US, the objective is two-fold: 1. Prevent the basement from flooding, 2. Prevent the leaking water from causing damage to the structure. The tools to accomplish this are a variety of bucket-like receptacles, a hammer, a broom, and a few other items to fulfill specific tasks.
Catching water is as simple as dropping a water catcher under a drip. On the easiest levels, there are about 1-2 drips per floor, with higher difficulties adding more leaks to deal with as well as faster drip rates. Each container has a fill limit and needs to be emptied out a window before it overflowing. Miss enough water, and it can soak into the floors causing a collapse. This destroys anything at the site, as well as dropping the water onto the next floor.
Naturally, drips are not your only concern. Add random disasters like broken pipes that gush water until fixed, lightning strikes that destroy items, or ghosts and UFOs that steal them away, and there is an awful lot to contend with. On the later levels, disasters often like to compound on one another, forcing you up and down the map at speeds that are less then comfortable.
Combating these hazards costs money, with items like hammers also taking a bit of money every time they are used. Luckily, water thrown out the window equals money in the pocket, and on the easy difficulties, there was rarely a time when I didn't have enough to cover every base. Collecting money also lead to items leveling up, which allows them to hold more water, or earn more every time water is thrown out. At max level, items gain a special power, like the trash cans ability to ignore disasters, or buckets being able to auto-empty.
Drip Drip also comes complete with it's own set of in game achievements, for those interested in chasing down challenges and extending the life of the game.
Drip Drip's items are a bunch of cute sprites representing the different buckets and tools you'll need to catch all that rushing water. Each is graced with a pair of silly googly eyes, which I guess serves to explain how they move around on their own, bouncing between floors trying to ebb the flow of the flood. It's all very cartoon in look and function, and a call back is even made to the most famous of “flood” cartoons, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, as one of the final items you get is a blue wizard's hat, complete with bright white stars.
I ran it in windows mode so that everything was crisp and clear, as the options don't allow for a change in resolution for bigger monitors. Bright and colorful, there was never any slowdown, even when levels were a haze of dripping water and disasters in the later levels of hard difficulty.
Like all Dash-style games, the fun really comes down to how much you like to test your reflexes and your ability to deal with quickly escalating problems. Drip Drip can be stressful, but with the seperate difficulty levels, all that stress is easily manageable on a per-person basis.
I found myself enjoying it more in short bursts, tackling a level or two at a time and then playing something else, much like I would do with an iOS or mobile game on my phone. The last push I made to complete the first difficulty, which consisted of the last 8 levels, got a bit tedious at the end. By that time, you've seen every trick the game has, and the experience falls apart a bit.
Succeeding in everything it sets out to do, and coming in at a very respectable $9.99 price point, Drip Drip is an excellent diversion, especially if you need a break from the heavy video game drops this holiday season has given us. With room for some updates in the future, there is much to enjoy in this slightly damp package.
Reviewer and Editor for Darkstation by day, probably not the best superhero by night. I mean, look at that costume. EEK!