Did you ever play Sprinkle? It's the game where you use a water cannon mounted on a crane to adjust its height and angle to fight fires, move obstacles, spin wheels and do a host of different things to solve puzzles throughout increasingly difficult levels.
If you did, good news: Sprinkle Islands is the follow-up to the original game and with it brings more levels, more challenges, and introduces scrolling levels and watery hazards.
Fight fire with... water
The premise of the game is much the same as before. You're a blue, blob-like fire-fighting water droplet named Ouie. Seated in your fire truck you can splosh the wet stuff around to fight fires - only this time around the iconic fire truck is on the move, able to drive across the islands in order to save the day. It adds complexity to the levels and gives the sequel a fresh lease of life.
You'll still have to regulate the flow of water - you only carry so much of it around - to navigate obstacles, buttons, elevators and more to keep the truck moving towards the next fire. Some of the puzzles get quite tricky to beat, too.
Compared to the original title, the controls in Sprinkle Islands are also better this time. The game's developers, Mediocre AB, say they've spent quiet a bit of time refining the touch mechanics to give better control of the water cannon’s stream. Whatever it is that they've done, it's worked. It feels effortless to control, and that's a sure sign of success.
The challenge awaits
Time is another crucial factor in the game. Sit back, wait for too long and be too conservative with the flow of water and you'll watch islanders' houses burn down. Go in too gung-ho about it and you'll run out of water, which brings us back to problem number one.
Yes, Sprinkle Islands is a game about balancing time and resources - the less water used to finish a level, the higher your final score will be too, so there's incentive to be clever about it. Against the clock, and against that app-familiar "three star" scoring system, there's life in revisiting levels until you've mastered them for that full-house score.
Sprinkle Islands is split into four distinct island environments with a total of 48 levels to challenge your fire-fighting skills. It looks as though there'll be more in the future if the "Coming Soon" card at the end of all the levels is to be believed - so the promise of yet more challene awaits.
At the end of each island-based section there is a boss to defeat that brings another new dynamic to the series. It adds to the gameplay, albeit the concept remains the same as the bosses won't take long to defeat.
Sprinkle Islands is a fun puzzler that's a prime example of how gaming apps should be done. It's kept us playing for hours and the promise of more levels in the future adds additional value.
The difficulty level is pitched just right too: the puzzles go from simple to being more complex as the game progresses, the learning curve feels spot on and the effortless controls require little thought.
Just because Sprinkle Islands has super-cute graphics doesn't mean it's not a challenge for all. Whether young, old, or a fervent gamer, there's something here for everyone. We adore it.