A review by Greg Dabkey
Game – Fluidity: Spin Cycle
Version – 3DSware
ESRB Rating: ‘E ’ – Everyone
Release Date: 12/28/2012
Obtained – Review copy courtesy of Nintendo
Fluidity: Spin Cycle is the continuation of the Wiiware classic, Fluidity! The magic tome filled with rainbow spirits needs your help again. Will you be able to help Eddy splash around the Goop monsters and save the Rainbow Spirits? Or will you dry up or freeze under the pressure?
For those of you that haven’t played the original Fluidity for Wiiware, this game is about guiding a puddle of water through a maze like level and solving puzzles to rescue a rainbow spirit. In the Wiiware game, there were 4 levels and new parts of the levels unlocked as you collected the Rainbow Drops. In Spin Cycle, there is a single Rainbow Spirit (it’s now a female character) per level but there are 15 levels per world. There are 4 different worlds to traverse.
Each level offers different puzzles like finding a gear and carrying it along to the proper location. Other times you will need to use gravity to travel on the ‘ceiling’ or walls of the level. Or you may just need to launch yourself up through hoses and water the flowers. There are a variety of different puzzles to solve throughout the level, along with using abilities. You will come across old favorites like being a block of ice, being a cloud, gathering and bursting. Another aspect is that the player is graded on each level by getting between a 1 and 5 star rating. To acquire the 5 star rating, the player must find and collect extra water throughout the level, along with beating the level within the time limit. There is a clock on the lower screen that is lit green when there is time remaining. A ticking clock hand slowly converts the clock from green to red.
I do enjoy the gameplay and controls of this Spin Cycle; I was just disappointed that the level layout changed. Instead of having a large level to explore and go in whatever direction you wanted like the original, now you are condensed to a somewhat straight forward level. This really limits the exploration needed by the player to uncover those hidden areas. I do like the other main addition which is the rating on each level when the level is completed.
The controls are pretty simple for Fluidity Spin Cycle. Basically you will be tilting your 3DS from side to side to guide Eddy in the direction you want to go. It also includes angling your system downwards or up-side down on the gravity defying levels. The player can use L or R to make Eddy jump, and the player uses B to trigger switches. A is used for the player’s abilities. As water, it will gather the water together (once learned) or another example as ice to stick to walls or platforms (also once learned). Also, while in ice form the player can use the circle pad to lay the block of ice horizontally or vertically. The player must also use the touch screen to convert between forms when in the proper device (and it can also be used to use the abilities if the player wants).
In terms of the feel, the tilting of the system seemed to fit well, but for the gravity levels it was somewhat uncomfortable to be flipping your system upside down. It became trickier to use abilities or activate switches. I found it is better to just tilt the top screen towards the floor to make Eddy travel along the ceiling. While somewhat awkward, the controls seemed to fit better. Just be careful when if you spin your console in your hands, you don’t want to drop it! Overall it was nice having a button to make Eddy jump as the original you had to lift the Wii remote upwards. I don’t mind motion games when they are done like this.
The graphics are solid with similar feel to the original. They are somewhat cartoony, but the worlds look very impressive and have many details. The player will see the typical goop markings around the level and the familiar goop monsters looking pretty good. My one complaint here is the “character form” they gave Eddy and the Rainbow Spirits do not have an appealing look to me. They are basically a drop of water with arms and legs and a goofy facial expression. One final note is that this game does not support 3D graphics due to the nature of moving the console around. I was okay with this since I typically play 3DS games in 2D the majority of the time. If you are looking for amazing 3D graphics, this won’t be the game for you.
The music is pretty relaxing based. They are simple tunes with jazzy or classical type of feel to them. The sound effects of Eddy moving or moving around sound perfectly as one would expect water to sound like. From this standpoint, it makes it enjoyable to listen to as it makes the game more immersive. I did not have any complaints in this department as everything flows together nicely.
Concluding Overall Impressions
Overall this game is quite good. I have a hard time not comparing it to its Wii predecessor, but what sequel is not compared to the original? The puzzles have improved on the gravity levels as it allows more flexibility and they’ve also gotten more complex since the levels are more condensed. However, the game did lose its sense of adventure as the levels are pretty linear. The addition of the rating add replay value to challenge the player to collect water as fast as possible. In the end, this is a solid game for the series and fans of the Wiiware one likely won’t be disappointed. There is no requirement to play the prior game first (even though I recommend you getting it at some point!) and new comers will find this to be an enjoyable experience. I would recommend this game to fans of puzzle games as the levels become more complex as you advance through the levels.
Final Score: 8.5 out of 10