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FEATURED VOXPOP maca2kx Metal Gear Solid was a watershed moment in gaming for me. The graphics, at the time, were phenomenal; the story was winding and engaging; the gameplay was sharp and not above breaking the fourth wall when appropriate. It’s one of the few titles where the number of times I’ve...

Fluidity Spin Cycle Preview

blake_peterson By:
Blake_Peterson
12/21/12
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Puzzle 
PLAYERS
PUBLISHER Nintendo 
DEVELOPER Curve Studios 
RELEASE DATE  
E Contains Comic Mischief, Mild Fantasy Violence

What do these ratings mean?

Rolling, rolling, rolling, as a River.

In Fluidity, a rolling platforming-puzzler where you control a pool of water, it's the environment that you shift on its axis to move the water downhill rather than controlling the water directly. Fluidity: Spin Cycle (called Hydroventure: Spin Cycle in Europe) might be better called a reimagining than a sequel or port to the WiiWare original. The art style has been updated to a cute, cartoon-oriented look and it's been given a picture-book story, but more importantly is its use of the 3DS gyroscope that syncs perfectly with the 3DS top screen.

The story of Fluidity: Spin Cycle is a cute affair about magical Rainbow Sprites that help produce vibrant works of art. But Gloop, a black viscous fluid, gets jealous and pours itself into a picture book, ruining the art and imprisoning the Rainbow Sprites. As a Water Sprite, it's your job to free the Rainbow Sprites and destroy the Gloop.



At first the game starts out simply; titling the 3DS in one direction or the other to cause your water sprite, which dissolves into a pool of water at the leve's beginning, in one direction or the other. It wasn't until four levels in, when 360-degree motion becomes available, that the game really takes off. As you spin or turn the 3DS, the water always moves down, making the puzzles a challenge.

With holes and divergent paths, it can be difficult to keep all the water of your water sprite together or there may be water drops along different paths. For this the game has a "gather" mechanic that allows you to bring all of your water together. Collecting drops of water throughout the level can grant you backup water for if you leave some behind, but how much water you have at the end of a level affects your rating, so it's definitely in the player's best interest not to lose any.



With the exception of the jump button, virtually all interactions by your avatar are manipulated dynamically. You move the character by tilting or rotating the 3DS, and gather water and flip switches using virtual buttons on the bottom screen. This makes the game very physically dynamic, and the Nintendo PR rep described speed runs to me by development staff where they would flip or spin the 3DS in the air to get it in the right position the fastest (sounds like they're cavalier with their 3DS hardware). The only negative was that I occasionally tapped the Home button while rotating the portable console, but this was easily fixed by adjusting my hand position.

Fluidity: Spin Cycle is a cute game that will retail at $10.99. The game may take between 5-7 hours to play through initially, but promises much more play time if the player attempts to get a perfect rating on the levels, and that's replay value that clear right from the start.

Fluidity: Spin Cycle releases on the Nintendo E-Shop for 3DS on December 27, 2012.
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