Puddle – E3 Preview

Puddle is a new PSN title being published by Konami, which uses fluid physics to create a unique puzzle-like platforming game. Originally developed as a student project by E-NEKO, which won the 2010 GDC Independent Games Festival Student Showcase Division, Puddle will add to the PSN’s line-up of very original ideas.

The goal of each level in Puddle is to guide a quantity of fluid from one end of the level to the other by rotating the Move controller, which tilts the level accordingly. While the controls are incredibly simple, the levels themselves offer a bit of complication in the form of switches that need to be pressed, and dangerous obstacles that get in the way. Various hazards will deplete your reserves of fluid, such as fire that evaporates it, or plants that absorb it. Losing too much fluid causes the level to end, so careful control is required to navigate each area successfully.

I initially had a major habit of trying to move too fast, but this soon separated my pool of liquid, causing me to leave too much behind and lose the level. Later, while taking my time and moving slowly I encountered a long section of hot metal, which required suddenly moving hastily to escape the evaporative effects. Careful control and observation in these differing sections is required for victory (or, in my case, trial and error). As the game progresses, other types of fluid are introduced to help inject some variety, starting with water, and moving onto an acidic slime, which had a thicker feeling and could eat through vines that act as platforms. The opening levels I played were simple, but fun to play with, and if more complicated puzzles and obstacles are continuously introduced then Puddle has the makings of a relaxing, entertaining experience.

Puddle is set to release on PSN and XBL later this year.