The Big Bad Wolf is making quite a name for himself these days as he adds more and more animals to his menu. This lupine baddie has stalked Little Red Riding Hood, harassed the Three Little Pigs and now he’s still hungry, so he’s moving on to a new animal- sheep. The newest installment of Where’s My Water? features the adorable Chinese cartoon character, XiYangYang. XYY lives on a nice, luscious green hill with his friends and family living life to its fullest. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side, though, because on the other side of the hill waits the Big Bad Wolf, firing up the grill for a feast of lamb. In Where’s My Water?, Big Bad Wolf captures XYY’s friends and family and holds them hostage in an underground Chinese city. The stakes are a little higher here than in previous iterations of Where’s My Water? since, rather than helping a friendly alligator take a bath, you’re helping an adventurous sheep traverse an underground, medieval world to save his friends from becoming lamb sandwiches.
Where’s My Water? XYY initially offers four worlds (with more likely to come in the future), each boasting 20 levels, totaling a whopping 80 levels. The first world’s simplistic gameplay warms up the ol’ noggin and preps it for the escalating difficulty in subsequent levels. Players use their fingers to dig paths through sand for the water to follow, with the goal being to get the water down to XYY so he can douse the fire blocking the entrance to the next room. This puzzler relies heavily on the virtual laws of physics, making things a bit tricky when you’re trying to angle the paths just right so the water will go where you need it to go, making sure it doesn’t get stuck in a hole or fall off-screen.
Where’s My Water? XXY’s addition to the time-tested gameplay of the series really amps up the difficulty, asking more thoughtfulness of players rather than letting them dig holes willy-nilly and hope for the best. Fire, oil, vines, pulleys and more make each level quite the obstacle course. For example, in some levels players have to keep oil’s buoyant properties in mind when dividing up the water so that certain pulleys get activated while still leaving enough H2O for XYY to put out his fire. It’s simultaneously tricky and straightforward. These puzzles present a challenge and require you to cool your jets and look at everything before acting, but once you’ve planned out a sequence of events, things generally flow smoothly.
Aside from getting the water to XYY, there are three bells in each level that players need to soak up. These are somewhat optional, and add an extra bit of difficulty for skilled players. You do, however, need a certain number of bells to unlock the next world, and these bells also provide coins for you to use on other things. Why do you need coins? Power-ups and hints are available to buy if a level is too hard. These hints are good ones, too, well worth the 100 coin price tag, as they give you step-by-step instructions on how to conquer a level. The power-ups are great as well, but their costs add up quickly. Each bell earned only gives 10 coins, and with every item costing ten times that much, it’s easy to go broke and feel tempted to spend real-life dollars to keep the momentum going. Also, coins are limited, as replaying levels doesn’t provide new coins unless you get previously unacquired bells. The good thing about all this is that the power-ups are not necessary so long as you’re patient. The levels are all designed fairly, and with a little bit of brain power, you’ll figure out what to do eventually.
Where’s My Water? Featuring XYY is creative and fun, and with the low price tag of $0.99, it's a good purchase. Even though you can make in-app purchases, it’s not one of those greedy games nagging you to spend more the entire time… unless you end up replaying a level repeatedly. Then it nudges you towards the hints and power-ups. XYY’s graphics are crisp and clean, the audio is upbeat and fun, and the hidden bells, buried treasure, and secret levels all make for a high level of replayability. Where’s My Water? Featuring XYY is a great addition to this light-hearted puzzle franchise.
This review was completed with a downloaded copy of Where's My Water? Featuring XYY on iOS.