Droplitz (XBLA)

By Steven Marsh

Published on Monday, July 6, 2009

Graphics: 5.00
Sound: 5.00
Gameplay: 8.00
Replays: 10.00
Gamelength: 8.00

“Droplitz” is a fresh experience that’s likely to give oldschool gamers a bit of nostalgia.

Our oldschool crowd may remember a game called “Pipe Dreams”. If you’ve ever played that game, you know exactly what you’re getting into with the release of this new take on the same age-old concept. This is a game best left to the die-hard fans of the puzzle genre, but that does not make this a bad choice by any means. If you think you can handle the simple, yet deep style of rotating pieces in rapid succession, continue reading for my take on “Droplitz” for the XBox 360.

From a visual standpoint, “Droplitz” is not dressed to impress. This is most certainly a very minimalist game and does not even come close to putting the Xbox 360’s power to use. Still, the game looks fine and as minimal as the graphics may be, it’s not an ugly game. There’s just not much to it aside from the drops flowing through a bunch of tubes that share the same color.

The music doesn’t ever seem to change and there aren’t many sound effects to be heard, which fits in with the whole minimalist design. The sound effects and music that you’ll actually hear are very, very mellow and give the game an overall relaxing feel that can’t be beat. This is definitely a game to chill out with.

“Droplitz” is an extremely simplistic game with a very basic design. There’s no real tutorial and the game doesn’t really offer much variation. However, the simplicity is what makes this game fun, despite the overall relaxing, yet somewhat challenging atmosphere. The game contains 4 modes, all of which are unlocked by reaching a specific score in another mode. For example, “Zendurance” mode is unlocked by scoring 75,000 or higher in the “Classic” mode. These scores are never unrealistic and with a small amount of effort, you’ll have every mode unlocked in no time at all. Aside from “Zendurance” and “Classic” modes, there’s also “Power Up” and “Infection”. Each mode has a slightly different design, but the general gameplay never really changes. Because of that, the transition between modes is never a difficult process and by the time you’ve unlocked all of the modes, you’ll likely feel right at home no matter which you choose to play. The game itself is played using classic rotation controls and a power-up button. Drops come down from the top of the screen and your goal is to guide them into the tube endings at the bottom of the screen or simply into tube endings that may show up around the puzzle board at random times. You’ll be flipping the tubes around to make an arrangement that fits the board and ultimately gets the drops to their final destination. To create a chain and get your score multiplier higher, you must continuously rotate pieces into place as fast as possible and keep the drops well-guided nonstop. Once the drops go off course, the chain is gone. That’s really all there is to it, considering the fact that no online play exists. But then again, no multiplayer exists at all. In short, this is a game for the most die-hard fans of the puzzle genre who need their fix.

Overall, this is one of the best puzzle games on XBox Live, but be warned: It’s not for the impatient.

Pros:
-Minimalist approach is very fresh these days.
-Controls are incredibly simple.
-Learning curve is nearly non-existent.
-Plenty of replay value.
-4 modes that feel different, yet similar enough to pick up quickly.
-Very relaxing music.

Cons:
-No multiplayer in any form.
-Soundtrack is very limited, regardless of how relaxing it is.

Bottom line:
If you feel the need to play a difficult puzzle game, this is right up your alley. Otherwise, check out the trial or pass this one up. As good as this game is, it definitely has a smaller audience.

Overall Rating: 7.50

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