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Review: Sprinkle – A Unique Puzzle Game

Available On: Android, iOS

Price: $0.99

Download: Google Play | iTunes

As you’ve probably noticed in a lot of my reviews, I love puzzle themed games. I like puzzle games that actually have substance to it, puzzle games that keep you engaged and trying to figure out difficult ways to try and beat said puzzle. There aren’t many that are actually “difficult” aside from Where’s my Perry? and its predecessor. Recently I came across one that is difficult, and I fell in love with it as I usually do. Why I like puzzles so much? I’ll probably never know aside from the fact that it feels like a mental battle between you and your enemy. In the case of of Medirocre’s game, Sprinkle, the enemy often wins that mental battle.

The goal of the game is summed up in one sentence, “Ready, aim, squirt!”.

No that’s not all that’s to the game, but essentially that is what it is at it’s core. Flaming asteroids are falling from space settings villages on fire, thus the inhabitants of this odd world have built a water cannon, they just need someone to man it (that’s where you come in). You’re given a set amount of water to use and like Angry Birds, you’re given a score on how well you did after you complete the mission. The scoring system is nothing like Angry Birds though, it’s based off of how much water you use. The more water you use, the less of a score you’re going to get. I thought this was a very unique way to base the scoring system off of. It’s not a copy and it also encourages using as least water as possible.

With the water cannon, you’re going to need to take care of all the fires spreading around the village. Sounds easy doesn’t it? It really isn’t. As you progress through the levels it gets harder to get water to the villages. Boulders get in your way, paths lead to different homes and most of the time it’s the home you didn’t need to send water to which is frustrating if you were trying to use as little water as possible. Blocks and wooden planks help you cross open chasms with the water. It’s actually really fun and very well developed.

The only thing is, the water cannon is really hard to control sometimes (I think the inhabitants aren’t very good at architecture and engineering). Making it sometimes difficult to use as little water as possible. Often, just taking your fingers off the screen for a couple seconds will fix this issue. I also noticed a problem with the game constantly freezing after every few levels. This may just be phone, which I don’t understand why that would be the issue as I am using a Tegra 2 chip in the Atrix 2 from Motorola.

Those who are still running Android 2.2 or lower won’t be able to play this game as it is going to require Android 2.3 to play. That means getting a ROM for your phone might be an option, but it is not guaranteed that the game will work on devices that have been flashed. If you want it bad enough, just get your phone to Android 2.3 at the very least and then you can download the free version to at least try out before you decide to invest in the game.

The free version will only last you around 15 minutes of gameplay at the most and 5 minutes at the least. That should be all you need to decide whether you want the game or not though. It costs $0.99 and if you have kids, there’s a junior version that was developed just for them. That also costs $0.99. Honestly, it’s really fun game and there is 5 worlds and 60+ levels to play through. It’s well worth the money and a good investment, I feel.

The graphics are also pretty entertaining. Again, they are fairly cartoony with a bit of added realism. I think Mediocre, the developer, did a great job with them. I know this sounds redundant with my past reviews, but there are some developers out there that do some cruddy graphics (music hero for example) so I like to clarify that the graphics are indeed good and are worth your time and money.

Sprinkle also has some seriously amazing water physics to the game too. Games like Angry Birds, Amazing Alex, Where’s My Perry?, Where’s my Water? and some other titles have some amazing physics. Honestly though, I think Sprinkle outdoes them all if you look at the extraordinary detail that Mediocre has payed attention to with Sprinkle. I guess Where’s my Perry? is a close runner up to Sprinkle, if not equal in the physics department. Both games still outdo Angry Birds which is pretty difficult to do as Rovio really has some robust physics features in their games.

“Excellent graphics and amazing physics but the controls can hamper your efforts. Not only are you fighting fires before they burn down one of the huts but you also have to control other objects with a limited water supply. Getting the fire hose pointed properly to blast a moving object into position can be nerve racking. On some levels if you’re not pinpoint accurate you won’t have enough water to finish. Plus to move on you may have to replay an entire set of levels and get better scores. Grrrr…” – Jim

Sprinkle Jr: (Kid version)

Sprinkle Jr has some amazing creativity to it, especially for kids. The Jr. version makes the game a whole lot easier while adding fun and creative creatures to the game to keep kids intrigued. The levels are dumbed down so kids are able to figure them out easier as Sprinkle is really a pretty tough game to get through. Sources have said that Sprinkle Jr. has way to few levels as their kids were able to beat the game in under twenty minutes. A recent review claims that they have updated with added levels and have been continuing to add levels to the game.

The graphics are very much the same in Sprinkle Jr. The only thing is the creatures in the game were designed in a way that it would intrigue kids. I think they did an excellent job with that.

A reviewer on Google Play basically sums up Sprinkle Jr. for kids in this statement:

“My 3 year old son LOVES problem solving games like this (Snail Bob, Cut the Rope, even Lemmings) but they quickly get too hard for him to do without getting frustrated (He actually likes the regular Sprinkle and can play it but runs out of water JUST short of the goal). In many ways this game is the answer to those problems (there is unlimited water for example). Honestly it’s probably TOO easy (he finished all the levels in less than an hour) but I couldn’t be more overjoyed that there is a problem-solving/physics game designed for Toddlers (and he comes back to it frequently so it’s not a deal breaker that he has already “won” it). I HOPE the designers of this game take on the challenge of making more (non-reading reliant) puzzle games for kids that bridge the gap between challenging for adults and too easy for 5 year olds. Just because little ones can’t move as quickly as we can, or beat a level with as few resources, doesn’t mean that they can’t still enjoy, learn from, and accomplish much of it! Would it really be that difficult to enable games like Angry birds to have unlimited birds? to make more “easy” levels on Cut The Rope? I’m delighted this game exists.” – Ruth

It’s very awesome to see that developer, Mediocre, has created two games one for kids and another for adults as I’m sure both kids and children will enjoy this game thoroughly.

Now onto the final verdict of Mediocre’s game, Sprinkle…

GRAPHICS:

The graphics are amazing, Mediocre did a great job  It’s a really cool part of the game. Though the game looks like a side-scroller, it’s very beautifully designed. One issue I found with the graphics for the Motorola Atrix 2 is that the water effects are terrible. The water looks absolutely amazing in the screenshots on the Google Play. Currently on my phone the water looks like balls of colored in water. They don’t look like the screenshots at all, but some phones have the same issue. Other phones, have the beautiful water.

Some effects also don’t work on it. I tend to think that because of these graphical issues Sprinkle was more designed and optimized for Tablets than Smartphones and such. I haven’t seen a Google Play review yet that has mentioned they’ve had issues with it on their Tablet. Mainly, it looks like all the issues are coming from owners with a smartphone. I’m really hoping they fix this issue soon because the game is a ton of fun and I hate not being able to see the full extent of the graphics.

I’m not sure if they will even update the graphical issue because the game was last updated in ,ate January of 2012 and hasn’t seen an update since then. If you have the money, getting a cheap tablet like the Nexus 7 would be a good option to play Sprinkle on. It’s a shame that they don’t work on all the smartphones though.

Aside from that, the environments are very well designed and have some beautiful graphics. I’m sure that the graphics issue is not just the water issues so it may be affecting the environment too. But, the graphics still look pretty amazing. They probably will improve if the graphical issues are ever improved for the smartphones.

Overall the graphics are great and I really enjoy the route and style they took with the game. Sprinkle Jr. looks very similar but has some more detailed creatures and such. That may again, just be to keep kids intrigued with the game. Aside from that, both Sprinkle and Sprinkle Jr. have many similarities with the graphics and barely differ from each other. Both games have great graphics, but just need some improvements. I’m not sure if the water error is also in Sprinkle Jr. or not, Google Play reviews have not confirmed this whatsoever.

AUDIO:

The audio is addictive. All of the sounds the little people make are awesome. Whoever did the sound did a really good job. The music, oh man, the music! It’s simplistic and amazing at the same time. Again, as I say for most games, there does not seem to be many tracks which is something game desperately needs just because of how good those music tracks are.

GAMEPLAY:

The Gameplay is really fun. I enjoy the difficulty of the puzzles and silly sounds all the inhabitants of this “world”. There isn’t much to say about the gameplay because it’s really your standard puzzle game. Except in this one you use the water cannon to quench the fires. Aiming and targeting with the water cannon is another feature you’ll come across. It’s not hard to do, just some times it’ll either freeze up and go completely the wrong way. Most of the time it does work correctly though.

REPLAYABILITY:

Sprinkle has a lot of replayability, many of this comes from trying to get the highest score by using the least amount of water as possible in ever 60 levels in the five different worlds Sprinkle offers. The game is difficult in this sense because it’s very hard to use as little as water as possible because of the different routes you have to take and different puzzles you have to solve to get to the main part of the puzzle. I like how they did this because it’s more unique than any type of game I have really ever played before on the Android.

It also offers a ton of content for only $0.99. I can’t guarantee that Sprinkle Jr. offers this much replayability because the goal of that version of the game is simply so little ones are able to have a fun puzzle game to play that they can actually wrap their brains around. I’d imagine that it wouldn’t as the game is much smaller than what Sprinkle is.

Other than that, there isn’t a whole lot of replayability, but getting the highest score will take you quite  a while to do as it is very challenging to accomplish. I really do like how difficult it is, but honestly, it almost seems impossible because of the different routes and mini-puzzles that they want you to accomplish using the water. I don’t think they would design a level to be impossible (unless they’re cruel like that) but it is very, very difficult to complete.

The sense of victory is awesome when you actually finally figure out how to use the least amount of water and receive the best outcome for the level. What would be cool is if by getting all of the challenges finished they would offer a reward or something. Unlockable levels maybe? A different style of the water cannon?

OVERALL:

The overall game is great. Mediocre did an amazing job designing the game and I think it really payed off. Again, the only that I really don’t like is the fact that the water isn’t working properly graphically. The game boasts some really awesome graphics but I think the water, since it is a essential part of the game, really ruins it because that’s the main thing you’ll be focusing on as you progress through all the levels and worlds that Sprinkle has to offer. What’s really disappointing is that Mediocre isn’t responding to this bug issue so there isn’t a very high chance of it getting fixed.

I loved the puzzles though. They were very challenging and a refreshing experience. All the different and unique ways to solve the puzzles are also really awesome, I never thought that there would be that much detail added in the game. No wonder why it’s on the Editors Choice list and was recently featured on the front page of the Google Play store.

I’ve mentioned this before, but I love how their scoring system works. It’s unique, it’s very well thought out and designed and while it may be impossible to reach the highest score, there are many different ways to complete the puzzles that I’m sure I haven’t even thought of, yet. I’ll have to continue trying them over and over again until I manage to get it.

There is a lot to say about this game as it’s packed full of content. Some of the things I wish that would be in this game was the option to select if you wanted a hint or not because some puzzles are so brain-wracking that you just want to get it done before you mentally go insane. Obviously not a mandatory feature and could be kind of difficult to integrate, but I’m sure many people would find it useful. The puzzles are hard and sometimes a hint is helpful to those of us who aren’t geniuses like the developers who designed the levels.

The music is super addictive. It’s very well designed and very clean cut. Sound quality I would say is near perfection. It’s definitely not Sentinel 3 music, but the music itself in this game is pretty addictive. It fits the “cutesy” theme this game has. Don’t take cutesy the wrong way, it’s just another way to describe it’s cartoonish craziness. 😉

Here’s a few reviews on Google Play to back up my statements:

“Great visuals and addictive music. Although the game is bit on the easier side, still it is interesting and you won’t feel bored. I finished 4 worlds, still going on with as much enthusiasm as before. Runs smooth as butter on SGS2. No incidents of crashing. The only difficulty that I find is to control the rectangular blocks. It simply rotates while you try to drag it. I hope the developers see this comment of mine. But still I can’t help myself from giving 5 stars.” – Subith

“I must admit I downloaded this expecting it to be a flop… how wrong I was. An excellent game and worth every penny :-)” – Steve

“Very Good Game , Awesome sounds & graphics, but not enough levels for the price. I finally broke down and bought the full version…I luv it but I was able to complete every level in just a few hours. I know some people mention that its too tough or complain about needing 36 drops to open next level….please dont make it easier or it wont be challenging & fun…just add more 🙂 As long as we get updates with new levels every month then it will b worth the $$$.” – Tiffany

This is an amazing puzzle game and I highly suggest purchasing it.

FINAL SCORE – 7/10