Ever since the success of Angry Birds, the App Store has seen an absolute onslaught of cute, physics-based puzzle games. The original Sprinkle title for iOS, as well as Sprinkle Junior, happen to fall into this category, but set themselves apart with some fantastic level design, beautiful visuals and downright awesome water physics. Sprinkle Islands, the latest title in the series, carries on that tradition while also moving the franchise forward, literally.
The cartoony world of Titan is under attack by falling, flaming garbage that has broken loose of its spaceship and it's up to you and your tiny firetruck to put out the blazes before they ruin your homeland. The game is presented in a two-dimensional perspective, though all of the action plays out on 3D terrain. You move and aim your truck's nozzle with one thumb and shoot a stream of water with the other -- the controls really couldn't be much simpler than this.
As you approach each new area, your trucks stops, allowing you time to attack the fires head-on. Once you've fought all the blazes on the screen, your truck will push forward. However, it's not always as simple as just splashing your stream on the flames, as some levels will require you to move blocks, knock down barriers or push buttons, all with just the power of the water.
However, your water supply isn't infinite, and you'll need to keep an eye on your gauge at all times. At the end of each level, you are graded based on how much water you have left after defeating the fires. Luckily, you can always go back and replay levels you faltered on in order to perfect your technique. Still, getting a flawless rating on even the early levels isn't easy, so there's plenty of challenge to be found.
Speaking of the water, Sprinkle Islands developer Mediocre AB likes to tout the game's ultra-realistic water physics. Normally when a company toots its own horn in such a way, it's a red flag, but in this case, they have a good reason to brag: The water in Sprinkle Islands behaves more realistically than in any other iOS game on the market. Waves form and flow back and forth; the stream splashes against flat surfaces; and the instances where you need to manipulate floating objects using your own water are just plain cool.
The game just launched, but there's already a total of 48 levels available to conquer. The game's level selection screen promises additional content will be added down the road, so for the rather modest US$1.99 price tag, Sprinkle Islands is an easy recommendation.