Developer Rough Cookie has taken their passion for bovine creatures in water to yet another game; Waterways. They created Dougie Moo’s Aqua Antics based around the same theme, and it was published by Chillingo. Now Taito stands as publisher to Waterways, sadly the inferior of the two swiming bovine water games. Why the developer of a great game such as Star Defense(4.5 star review here) keep dabbling in cows in water I don’t understand at all. And knowing the level of quality of Star Defense it makes it even harder to stomach the lacklustre Waterways.
You play as Patch the cow who has to control the flow of water in puzzles. You control Patch by swiping in the direction you want to move. To me the controls are sluggish, and I often find myself just standing around or going in the wrong direction. By tilting the iPhone you can also control the flow of water to open/close bridges, and flush Patch around. Far too often I accidentally move my iPhone too much by accident flushing away important water, and thus forcing me to retry the level.
I must say that Waterways is a big disappointment regarding all aspects. Developed by Rough Cookie, and published by Taito, I expected much more. Just the fact that the game doesn’t save your progress feels rushed, and playing becomes pointless. There is a level select but that just lets you select any level at a time, and does not connect the levels to the story. I remember that the aforementioned Doogie Moo’s Aqua Antics got bashed harshly upon release for not having a save game feature. At least it had a high score table to get your name on until the save feature was inserted in an update. Waterways has no high score list, nothing to unlock or achieve. Please just stay away from this title.
Presentation and graphics
I like the colourful aspect of the graphics, and the water movement is cool. Patch looks like a blocky refrigerator with spots on tough, and I would rather have Patch as beef in my refrigerator. Uninspired graphics overall, and quite frankly a lot of it feels like it has been regurgitated from Dougie Moo.
Unresponsive touch controls mar this rather basic flick switch in the right order puzzle romp. The tilt controls feel gimmicky, and quite frankly I would rather have had touch controls for flushing as well. Considering there are large arrows on screen indicating which way to tilt to open/close desired bridges. It would be easy just to make those arrows into touch controls for water control.
The puzzles get better after a while with enemy rams, and flooding to contend with. Don’t know if replaying the first five or so levels to reach any challenge will keep anyone interested.
None, at least not to me who don’t want to restart from square one over and over. This is not a high score game but a story driven puzzler. It feels like if you had to restart Myst or Rolando from the beginning every time. Waterways has nothing to unlock, achieve or anything else warranting a purchase.
Waterways is a big disappointment in almost all areas. If you want to play around with cows in water get Dougie Moo’s Aqua Antics at $0.99 instead, and forget you ever heard of Waterways. (Until a major update at least)