Not Exactly Classic Water Torture
The premise behind Droplitz is somewhat familiar. Droppers at the top of the screen release water out onto the board. The player needs to rotate the tubes in order to create a path to a catcher. Once a path is made, a bonus drop will rush down the slope towards the end, and all the tiles from the path are removed and replaced. The game is much easier to explain than to actually play, as the depth comes through in forming combo paths, conserving and forming new drops, achieving chain reactions, and maintaining a steady pace over a long period of time.
To keep from boring the player out, there are a variety of different themes that change as you successfully advance. Slight changes in lighting, boarder design, and background music give the game a rather unique experience when compared to most puzzle games. The themes themselves seem somewhat random (again, why is there a coffee theme?), and the limited number of them is rather disappointing. Chances are, though, as you advance to the next speed increase that you will be too busy micromanaging every single tube on the board to really take in the atmosphere.
Success is difficult to gauge in some puzzle games, and this one isn't any different. If you are very successful with one board, you can unlock a few others which vary in difficulty, size, and dropper/catcher layout. Once unlocked you can play easy, medium, or hard rated boards. Difficulty is, at best, based around the speed increases and how generous the game is at giving you useful tubes.
Although Droplitz has 4 modes of play, the basic game mechanics do not change. Unfortunately, not one of these modes houses a multiplayer session. Though this game is hawked as a meditative and relaxing puzzle game, it wouldn't exactly hurt the gaming experience by throwing it in. The closest thing you get to competition are the extremely difficult trophies (See: Survive 2 Hours) and solid leaderboard for every map and mode.
If you can get over the initial difficulty and you are still up for a challenge, Droplitz is a great title to have in your library. As a cross-platform title, it retains the XBLA interface so you can check your trophies in its own in-game menu and you can exit to the XMB (two features that are sorely underutilized on the PSN). Despite two, unconfirmed, trophy glitches, this game hasn't done much to stress me out. It is like a kitten; even after it destroys your couch, you can't help but love the little furry burden!