So the 25 billionth download from the iOS App Store was none other than Where’s My Water? Free. It brought its owner a shiny $10,000 iTunes gift card and worldwide fame for 15 minutes. But will it bring you anything? The short answer is probably: no.
The aim of the game is to help Swampy, your cuddly sewer-dwelling crocodile pal, get showered. For reasons only known to the app developers, other crocs have munch Swampy’s plumbing, but you can fix it by digging channels through the soil and by-passing the leaks.
This free version of the game is pretty limited. There are just 20 basic levels to play your way through, and advertisements lurk at the bottom of the screen (but not while you’re actually playing). Do well in those 20 levels and you’ll unlock five more. If you’ve invested the time to get that far, you’re probably going to want to buy the full app (which costs $1).
It’s made by Disney, so everything is very Disneyfied. The characters are cuter than cute, the colors are brighter than bright, the music is louder than necessary.
Where’s My Water? is a good one-finger gaming experience, so is quite well suited to playing while standing for line or commuting. Your only task is to drag a thumb from A to B. It’s more a challenge for the brain than for the fingers.
It plays well enough, although there is a certain amount of trial-and-error to go through. The water occasionally moves in somewhat weird and unpredictable ways (something not unknown in physics-based puzzlers), which means you end up learning your way through some levels rather than playing them. It passes the time, but it’s a bit, well, meh.
It’s great that Chinese iOS shopper Chunli Fu struck lucky by downloading this app, but if you’re after a water-based physics puzzler you might get more of a challenge from something like Enigmo.