Disney Interactive is heading back to the swamp with the release of Where’s My Water? 2, a follow-up to the original that spawned an entire Where’s My…? franchise for Disney. The sequel, which launched Thursday for iOS and Windows devices with an Android version to follow, features the same gameplay mechanics as the original title with additional challenges and extra twists that keep the game fresh.
“For Where’s My Water? 2, we wanted to create something totally new, yet still inviting,” said lead game developer Tim FitzRandolph in an interview with TechHive. The sequel’s release is timed perfectly with the two-year anniversary of the original, which hit the iOS App Store in September 2011.
If you’ve played any game in the Where’s My collection—be it Where’s My Water? and its holiday spin-offs, Where’s My Perry?, or Where’s My Mickey?—Where’s My Water? 2 will feel very familiar. In each level, you must dig a passageway for water, goop, or steam to flow to a pipeline. Each level is designed around one of three alligators, and each gator requires different things: Swampy loves to shower, so you need to direct water to his shower head; Cranky loves to eat, so you direct purple goop to his kitchen sink which kills the algae infesting the treat on his plate; and Allie loves music, so you direct steam to an organ which enables her to play it. Collect rubber ducks along the way for extra points and to unlock bonuses, but the bare minimum for progressing to the next level is directing water to the right pipe. Levels can be replayed as often as you’d like.
But you’ll also notice several differences in this release. Gone is the grid layout of each world when selecting a level: Instead, you’ll find a detailed overview of what the world looks like. At launch, Where’s My Water? 2 has three worlds with 15 to 20 standalone levels in each. For example, the first world is a sewer system, and you can scroll through it to explore it more. Watch the water flow from one drainage pipe to the next, take a look at each gator’s abode, and tap on objects to learn more. Swampy and the gang are completely interactive; tap on a gator to view a cute animation. These detailed world overviews make Where’s My Water? 2 feel more like a story than the original, and it highlights the gator’s distinct personalities even more.
Another new element is the game’s “Challenge Modes.” As you collect ducks, you unlock challenges, which let you replay levels with different goals. For instance, it might be to avoid ducks instead of collect them, cut through rock instead of cut through dirt, or to play the level flipped upside down. These extra challenges add significantly more gameplay to Where’s My Water? 2—with Where’s My Water?, once you’ve collected all three ducks, there wasn’t much more you could do with that level besides try to improve your time. Challenges increase in difficulty as you progress through the game.
“Duck Rush” levels are sprinkled throughout each world, which feature puzzles that are larger than the screen and a view that moves as soon as you make your first dig. You have to quickly navigate through the puzzle without knowing what comes next, collecting as many ducks as you can along the way. There are six ducks to hunt for instead of the usual three. The original Where’s My Water? experimented with these longer levels, but players found them hard to manipulate on the screen. Disney Interactive developers have worked those kinks out for this release—the “Duck Rush” levels flow smoothly and throw a fun new style to the mix.
Something else you’ll notice is the game’s “freemium” model: The app is free to download, but features in-app purchases throughout the game. (Like it or not, this model is becoming the new normal for mobile games.) Players can purchase power-ups that manipulate the water in a certain way to help beat difficult levels faster. Power-ups include a vacuum, dropper, and absorber, all which are used to collect ducks. You can also purchase a hint tool if you get stuck on a move. Hints and power-ups are rewarded as you progress, but you can purchase more if you’re really in a bind—though each level is totally beatable without the use of power-ups. Individual power-ups or hints cost $1, and bundles range from $3 to $10. There’s no in-game currency to collect: Where’s My Water? 2 runs on cold hard cash.
In the top-right corner of the level-select page, you’ll find an energy bar. As you play, you lose energy, and when you’re completely out of energy, you’re locked out of the game for a short period of time. (FitzRandolph said this was about 25 minutes.) But, never fear, you can pay to refill your energy bar if you don’t want to wait. You can also request an energy refill from a friend, or pay $17 for unlimited energy.
Speaking of friends, Where’s My Water? 2 integrates with Facebook to add a social element that the first was missing. As you move through the game, a rubber duck marks your location, showing which level you’re currently playing. If you connect via Facebook, you’ll notice other ducks floating along—your friends. Tap on a duck to see more about your friend’s progress, or to gift them with more energy if he or she is out. You can even customize your own duck to make it stand out amongst your friends. Facebook integration is completely optional if you’d prefer to play alone.
Overall, Where’s My Water? 2 feels less like a continuation of Swampy and his friends, and more like an advanced version of the first game. The levels are puzzling yet familiar, the challenges are well thought-out, and the upgrades are there as a safety net if you need them.
Where’s My Water? 2 is a free game, available now in the App Store and Windows Store, with a Google Play store launch coming soon.