Where's My Water? 2 is a continuation of Disney's successful iOS franchise, and its creative direction reached new heights over the summer with the excellent Where's My Mickey? installment. This time out, the game is a free to play experience, which translates to the requisite need for in-app purchases. Does the freemium model the perfect fit for gators Swampy, Cranky, and Allie? Or should these lovable water lovers leave us alone and shower all by their lonesome?

The selling point for Where's My Water? 2, aside from the charismatic nature of our three leads, is to carve a circuitous path to a pipe so the gators can receive their precious resource. Whether it's polluted, in the form of steam, or looks clean enough to drink, water is the only thing that will truly make them happy. Certain levels will require you to direct grab as many rubber duckies as possible before the gators receive the right amount of water, and these collectibles will unlock further challenges within each level.

Although many of the challenges may take a minute to complete, other stages which require a redirecting of the water within a specific sequence, can get tricky. For a physics based experience, Where's My Water? offers up the perfect balance of simplistic and head scratching puzzlers. And on a purely visceral level, the maze like structure of the franchise has always been an eye grabber.

With 100 levels available, Where's My Water? 2 doesn't skimp on the game play, and one of the franchise's many strengths lies in its deceptive allure. Drawing water lines should be an ultimately boring experience, but the developers understand that a seemingly simple mechanic can lead to so many other avenues. I'm still intrigued with every challenge that comes my way, and whether it's fulfilling the gators' watery wishes or just outwitting a level's intricate design, this is a title that one can come back to months or even years down the road.

The only flaw behind Where's My Water? 2 is its free to play structure. Unless you purchase energy bars, you really won't be able to play the game much longer than several minutes at a time. Restocking my energy level for $0.99 just to continue playing for a bit longer smacks of total highway robbery, and one can end up spending a ton of money just to stay glued to Where's My Water? 2.

This dynamic initially had me ready to give up my gator love altogether, but since Where's My Water? 2 isn't an addictive RPG or farming game experience, I've cooled my heels and have learned that compromise is key. I'm fine with having my energy levels refreshed, even if it takes half an hour to fulfill all my pipe dreams. It's a free app that you can pick up and play in a moment's notice, and if it only opens that gaming door for a short spell, so be it.

Where's My Water? 2 is a solid addition to an ever expanding franchise, and although I can still do without its in-app pay scheme, it's a game that's worth checking out. I've already spent my hard earned dollar on Gatorville, and although I may never have a ton of power-ups or game hints at my disposal, I'm fine waiting for my energy to replenish. Allie's steam cloud will just have to wait.


App Store Link: Where’s My Water? 2 for iPhone & iPad | By Walt Disney | Price: Free | Version: 1.0.0 | 41.7 MB | Rating: 4+

7.5 out of 10 arcade sushi rating