Drip Drip PC Review
Drip Drip is a simple 2D game with a seemingly easy objective – to stop a building from flooding. From such a straightforward concept is born one of the most fun and addictive strategy games I’ve played in a while. The game has no story or reason, besides entertaining the player, and the whole focus is on gameplay. The mechanics are introduced one at a time and you are never rushed into learning too much at once.
Armed with a bit of money, the player must purchase pots, hammers and brooms to save leaky structures from being completely demolished in a storm. As water drips from ceilings into the rooms below, you must send pots into action and have them collect the droplets before they hit the ground. Too much water on the ground creates a puddle, which will, in turn, start to trickle into the room below, eventually making its way to the basement. The aim is to not let the basement fill up with water; if it does, it’s game over.
Of course, your pots can’t hold water forever and need to be ordered to windows where they will tip themselves out, earning you some cash before returning to their post. Using your brooms and hammers, you can fix floors that have been destroyed and clean up the mess that has fallen through into the room below, which is usually already evident at the beginning of a stage. Until these obstacles are dealt with, your other items can’t get past the blockades, making them a high priority. A simple concept that quickly becomes overpowering, especially when there’s something new introduced for many of the levels, building on what you’ve already learnt.
After the basics have been taught, you are thrown even more problems to worry about and items to buy. New items include magic spells that temporarily disable some hazards, bigger containers, and pumps that suck water out of the basement. More importantly, the tool that you’ll need the most is the sponge. Whilst using buckets and barrels to hold more water is definitely handy, the game would be almost impossible without the trusty sponge. The sponge allows water that is on the floor to be soaked up, which is incredibly useful for when containers need to be emptied and must travel a fair distance to a window. Although the sponge doesn’t sound so necessary, if a puddle becomes too big the structural integrity of a floor weakens, and without a quick drying up will collapse. This destroys all objects that were on the floor and everything directly underneath.
A good use of your containers, hammers, brooms and sponges are all this game requires. Sounds simple, right? The game’s difficulty curves nicely but always keeps you on your toes, and even though each level is similar and repetitive, you’ll never get bored. You have to learn fast and become effective at moving your pieces about each house cleverly to achieve a 5-star rating.
Of course, dripping water and floors falling through aren’t your only threats. Pipes will randomly burst, needing immediate attention as water gushes out of them. Ghosts and UFOs will try to steal your tools, requiring you to move your items to escape their grasp. Even voodoo masks make an appearance, finding a nice spot in your building and rain-dancing away. If you don’t send your broom to brush them away in time, the already-heavy storm goes into overdrive. The final and most annoying hazard has to be the lighting bolt. After a graphic of a spark appears somewhere in your building, you have a few seconds to move all of your tools out of the way before lightning strikes and disintegrates them.
The reason this is the most annoying hazard is that many times I was just playing away when…boom! Lightning strikes. Every hazard gives you an on-screen warning, but when you are heavily concentrating on moving your tools around, you barely even notice these and often miss your opportunity. Since ‘no items lost’ is a requirement for one of the stars in the rating system, the lightning bolts were always the cause of my downfall, being much faster than the UFOs, ghosts or masks. This only deepened my focus, drawing me further into the game and constantly on the lookout for any dangers.
As you progress, the buildings become bigger, have more leaks, less staircases and fewer windows, which increases the time it takes for tools to move. Some buildings, like the castle, are oddly-shaped, which forces you to move your tools in a particular manner. Due to the bigger buildings and longer gaps for movement, you’ll naturally need more equipment to place around each stage in preparation. Although it’s necessary to spend money faster later in the game, I never found myself not having enough money for what I needed. You make money extremely fast, but even at the beginning of the round you are always given enough cash to get you going and more. Also, with each use, the tools level-up to gain speed, ontain more water, or even earn more money for being used or emptied. Once they’ve reached their max level (10), they gain a super ability. Most notably, the biggest container, a trash can, gains invincibility to hazards, which is beyond useful for reaching 5 stars.
The game is based in the USA and each of the 24 levels are set in a different state. The levels are well-designed and varied, and mostly represent where you are. For example, the Las Vegas stage has bright lights, gambling machines, and is set inside a tall hotel. This unique level design, along with the bright, cartoony design of the tools, makes for a great-looking game. It’s nothing spectacular to look at, but it certainly suits the style it’s going for. There is no music, and the only sounds you’ll hear are the storm, the hazards and the tools jumping around. The sounds of the heavy rain and the distant thunder is charming and relaxing, as well as a great way to warn you of any incoming hazards. Unfortunately, the game is only available for PC and Mac, but it would be perfect for a tablet device. With a decent screen size and touch gestures, it’s easy to see that Drip Drip is a tablet game at heart.
I managed to successfully attain a 5-star rating on every level, replaying the same stage until I earned them. I was never once bored, as each round is completely random. I can easily see myself coming back again soon to test my mettle against the Hard difficulty setting, as I only played on the standard Medium. Overall, Drip Drip looks great, sounds great and is a heap of fun. I also noticed once I’d completed it that my save file says ‘USA Completed,’ making me think that there will probably be future DLC with more levels and hopefully more challenges. Until then, I’d definitely recommend this game to anyone and hope to see it reach out to tablets and get greenlit on Steam in the near future.