Where's My Water? 2 App Poster Image

Where's My Water? 2

(i)

 

Sequel to a hit game isn't as fun due to time limits.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids can learn about physics and chemistry concepts like gravity and phases of matter with Where's My Water? 2. They will also problem-solve and use spatial recognition skills to figure out how to alter the flow of water so that it bounces off of various platforms and obstacles to reach the goal. The game gives kids point A and point B, and leaves it up to them to figure out how to connect the stream of water so that it flows between those two points seamlessly. The fun puzzles in Where's My Water? 2 encourage kids to use problem-solving skills.

Ease of play

Because the controls in this game have become well know, there's a minimal learning curve. It will be easy for most players to be able to pick up and play. The puzzles increase in difficulty as players progress through the game, but for the most part it is a matter of trial and error that players will eventually be able to figure out as long as they have the time and willingness.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Unlike its predecessor, Where's My Water? 2 lets players buy upgrades, additional play time, and hints using real world cash. Prices vary but range from $.99 to $16.99. The first 30 levels can be played without spending money. However, after 30 levels, players are forced to either pay $0.99 to advance or must ask friends on Facebook for keys to unlock additional levels.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Where's My Water? 2 is the follow-up to the successful casual puzzle game, tasking players to clear obstructions from a sewer system to delivery water or steam to Swampy the Alligator and his family. Like the original, the characters are charming and the game is played out in a cartoon style. This time, though, there are in-app purchase possibilities, which kids might ask for when they get stuck or they run out of game time. (The app limits time via an 'energy meter,' which recharges when you stop playing or collect a certain number of ducks.) And after 30 levels, players are forced to either pay to advance or get help from friends on Facebook. Players can share high scores via the Game Center social network, but participation is optional.

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What's it about?

As in the game's predecessor, players must clear the way for water or steam to flow in this physics-based puzzler. They must also collect ducks and other items to get bonuses and advance to other levels. By swiping their finger across the screen and through dirt, kids carve a path for the water to flow (or, if it's in steam form, to float). Extra challenges open up after a level is completed, with different tasks and goals on the same playfield. "Duck Rush" levels have the player digging water down the screen as it scrolls down over several screens. Losing track of the water results in a loss. The game consists of three characters -- Swampy, Allie, and Cranky -- though each has little to do with the actual gameplay. Players only have a limited time to play consecutively, though. An 'energy meter' drains as levels are attempted -- and when it runs dry, the game is not playable until it recharges. This can be done through waiting or paying a fee in real world money to instantly recharge it.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

While the mechanics of Where's My Water? 2 are wonderful and the gameplay is as much fun as the first one, there are a couple features that overshadow those triumphs. Primary among these is the energy meter. While the game handles most in-app purchases well -- not forcing them on players and making it possible to play through the first 30 levels without buying anything -- limiting the playtime of a game that requires trial and error is a mistake. Casual players, who only play a level or two at a time, won't notice it, but fans of the game, who play for long periods, will feel almost as they're being punished. Worst yet, there is no way to disable the timer, even by paying real money.

If players can get over the timer frustration, they'll like what they see. The game sticks to the formula that has worked, adding in new elements and characters that keep it fresh. And adding in a social element with friends on Facebook is a smart move for adults, but it presents a hurdle for kids. After 30 levels, players are forced to either pay to advance further or must get help from friends on Facebook, where young children don't have an account. So parents, be prepared to pay for kids under age 13. For players looking to play casually, it's a can't miss. For avid players, be forwarned about the frustrations of being forced to walk away and wait for your meter to recharge -- or plan to pay ($.99) to continue from time to time.

Families can talk about...

  • Use a map to show how to get from Point A to Point B.

  • Work with your kids to show them the many different states of water -- frozen, steam, and liquid.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Subjects:Science: gravity, physics
Skills:Thinking & Reasoning: analyzing evidence, problem solving, solving puzzles
Self-Direction: achieving goals, time management, working efficiently
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:September 12, 2013
Category:Puzzle Games
Size:41.70 MB
Publisher:Disney
Version:1.0.0
Minimum software requirements:iOS 5.1 or later

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