Latest in Gaming

Image credit:

Portabliss: Sprinkle (iOS/Android)


Did you know that you can download handheld games now? That's amazingly convenient! The only inconvenient part of it is finding the right games to buy -- and that's where we come in, with our Portabliss column. In each installment, we'll tell you about a downloadable game on the iPhone, iPad, Android device, DSi, 3DS, PSP, etc. Today: Sprinkle.

I admit, I feel pretty ghoulish about playing an iPhone game in which you put out fires, while wildfires pretty much surround me. But if I look at it as, perhaps, a cathartic experience, or just try not to think about the morbid coincidence, Sprinkle's pretty fun.

It's an easy game to comprehend: you have a whimsical-looking fire truck, and you spray water all over the screen to put out fires and save cute, obviously concerned little characters. You have to use your limited water supply efficiently, and spray water through narrow holes, bounce it off of walls, and even use it to move obstacles in order to get all the fires doused.

It differs from a lot of these types of puzzle games in that there's an "analog" quality. It's not enough to just figure out the trick to any one level; you have to know when to let the water pool in an area and put out the fire on its own before running out, and when to spray relentlessly. There's a lot more physics to it than just finding the right place to spray and laying on the button. That could be good or bad, but it works out as "interesting" for me.

Originally, there were levels in the game that were unlocked either by achieving perfect scores in previous levels, or by dropping extra money on an in-app purchase. Developer Mediocre AB has since removed that requirement, meaning you'll get the full thing right away for your $1 (or $1.47 on Android). With cost concerns eliminated, all I have are those weird guilty feelings about playing a fire game.

Sprinkle is available from the iOS App Store for $0.99 and the Android Market for $1.47. We're always looking for new distractions. Want to submit your game for Portabliss consideration? You can reach us at portabliss aat joystiq dawt com.

From around the web

ear iconeye icontext filevr