Droplitz

Not Exactly Classic Water Torture

Atlus takes a break from the unusual and brings us Droplitz, a puzzle game with heart... And a coffee theme.
Author: Ryan Green
Published: July 15, 2009
While writing some notes on this game, my mother walked in and was wondering what "Dr. Plots" was. Sorry to say that this isn’t the medical mystery game we were all clambering for. Rather,Droplitz is a familiar-looking puzzle game that involves water and turning tile-tubes (or are they tube-tiles?).


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!
The Verdict
8.0

Atlus is known for very obscure and cult-developing titles. While neither descriptors can be properly applied to this title, Droplitz does give you a fun ride, albeit short.

7.5Graphics:

Very simple graphics with some nice themes to go along with them. Too bad there aren't more themes, though. It is a little dull after a while. Generic yet unique in it's presentation.

7.5Sound:

For every theme, there is a track that goes with it. They add a lot to the atmosphere of the theme, but again: wish there were more.

8.5Control:

The controls are very fluid (see what I did there?). Tubes lock in place almost too easily, and it would be nice if you could move around the board a little faster.

8.5Gameplay:

Oh the learning curve! It might take some getting used to, but you will be flying around the screen with a some experience. Shame it lacks variety... and multiplayer.