Fluidity (video game)
Fluidity, known as Hydroventure in Europe and Oceania, is a physics puzzle game developed by Curve Studios and published by Nintendo exclusively for WiiWare on the Wii video game console. The game focuses on controlling a small body of water that is utilized in its different states of matter to progress through the game's levels.
Fluidity was released in North America on December 6, 2010 and in Europe on December 24, 2010, priced at 1200 Wii Points, which is the equivalent of $12. A sequel, Fluidity: Spin Cycle, was released for the Nintendo 3DS eShop in December 2012.
Fluidity is a 2D puzzle game with platforming elements, in which the player takes control of a large pool of water. The pool is moved by holding the Wii Remote sideways and tilting it left or right, which tilts the game world, while shaking the Remote will cause the pool to bounce upwards. The player is tasked with exploring the pages of a magical encyclopedia known as the Aquaticus, which has been infected by a dark substance called the Influence. The player must acquire Rainbow Drops, usually done by surmounting obstacles and completing environmental puzzles, in order to purge the book of the Influence.
The pool of water gains the ability to transform into two other states (a block of ice and a cloud of vapor) as the game progresses. The ice block can smash through barriers, weigh down switches and cling to objects, and the cloud can float around freely and expel gusts of wind, as well as electrify objects via a bolt of lightning. Some of the water can be lost due to damage from monsters and hazards, which results in a Game Over when all the water in reserve has been depleted, and can be restored by collecting water droplets.
The idea of a physics-based 'water game' was originally conceived in 2005, shortly after the formation of Curve Studios. During a development interview, design director Jonathan Biddle discussed the concept in these terms: "Water is so universal...The basics of freezing water to make ice and boiling it to make steam are things that no one needs explaining to them. We thought that all of these elements could be brought together to make a great game with really unique mechanics, and when we saw the Wii Remote, we instantly saw how it could be done."
As the studio was busy with other projects, development on Fluidity did not begin until after the 2008 Game Developers Conference. During the convention, Curve Studios met with Masa Miyazaki and Azusa Tajima, two producers from Nintendo, who signed a publishing agreement following a pitch of the game idea.
Biddle described that the Wii Remote was a natural fit for Fluidity, although he did explain that there had been difficulties in fine-tuning the responsiveness of the controls, particularly the jumping mechanism. Elsewhere, he cites the images in airline safety brochures as the inspiration for the visual style of the game.
Fluidity garnered a largely positive critical reception. Edge scored the game with an 8/10, praising the simple idea behind the game and the fun it provides. IGN gave it an 8.5/10, calling it an "invigorating puzzle game that's easy on the eyes." GameSpot also gave it an 8.5/10, with praise going to the charming graphics, superb level design and great additional features. Nintendo World Report presented Fluidity with the award for 'WiiWare Game of the Year' for 2010.
Notes and references
- Edge #223, January 2011 (Future PLC)
- Hatfield, Daemon. "Fluidity Review". IGN.
- Walton, Mark. "Fluidity Review for Wii". GameSpot.
- "Downloadable Games of the Year". Nintendo World Report.