Casual gaming has come a long way in the past couple of years, and certain genres have gained popularity from this, one of those being the “time management” or “dash” genre. These games have you balancing several tasks at once, and success hinges on your ability to properly micro-manage all of these one by one, or at once in an orderly, effective fashion. Imminent Games’ Drip Drip is a game that’s very much in this style, as it has you juggling several things at once and throws a couple of curve balls in your direction for good measure.
The premise of Drip Drip is that you’re the leader of a disaster response team and you must help people protect and defend their homes from a massive storm that’s sweeping across all of the United States. You’ll travel across several states to defend a particular house, office building, hotel, etc., from relentless mother nature. This set-up is simple enough and it’s all the game really needs.
The game has a very unique visual style that’s definitely its own. The tools are animated objects with eyes that move very fluidly and respond well to your furious clicking. The levels themselves are also highly detailed and colorful, and the background art reflects the status of the rain very well. All in all, Drip Drip a visually pleasing game. If there’s any complaints about the visuals, it is that they are so well done and colorful that they draw attention away from the game’s useful mini-map that’s found on the bottom left of the screen.
The audio in the game is also very solid, with the spot-on sounds of dripping water and rainfall, and the clinking, clanking of hammers, buckets, pots and pans. The game doesn’t really have a soundtrack, but the ambient noise makes up for it. The sounds of the storm are very helpful to gameplay, as the heavier it gets means that you’ll have to react much quicker to incoming threats. It’s an interactive soundtrack of sorts.
Drip Drip has you battling storms with a wide assortment of tools, from saucepans and barrels, to brooms. You must collect water that filters through the ceilings, broken pipes and holes in the wall, while at the same time maintaining the floors in top condition with a hammer from inevitable water damage before the structure collapses or the basement floods.
Using doors to the house weathering the storm, players can send selected tools straight into the action. Tools must move all the way from the door to the leaks so they can collect the water. Different items have different abilities such as movement speed and water carrying capacity, which can be upgraded by using an experience point system.
The aforementioned mini-map displays the entire house (which is handy because some houses are too big to fit on the screen) and it signals where accidents that need your immediate attention are happening. By clicking on the specific area in the map, the in-game view is transported to the selected spot, allowing the player to concentrate on that area instead. I often found myself forgetting about this feature because I was enthralled by all the other things that were going on.
And that brings me to the difficulty of the game. It’s a combination of the items, the frequency of the events that occur on the map and the positioning of the all-important windows to get rid of all the water accumulated with the pots and pans strewn around the house. Getting rid of the water through the windows earns you money, which can be used to get more tools.Water damage can also destroy floors, so must deal with the threat quickly or risk repairing the floor and cleaning the mess with the broom, in addition to potentially losing a tool or two if they are caught in the rubble of a bursting floor.
There’s also other threats to would-be super-plumbers. The game will throw random challenges in player’s way, like bursting pipes that you’ll have to fix immediately unless you want a flood, holes in the wall that will have the same effect, odd indoor lightning that will smite one tool from existence, and aliens and ghostly witch doctors that will increase the amount of rain and dripping water inside the house and take away some tools. The game does get some odd difficulty spike sometimes, because random events tend to pile up at times, but that’s part of the fun.
Finally, Drip Drip has an impressively long list of achievements for the completionists out there that will guarantee plenty of replay value. I know I’ve replayed every level several times just to get the best scores possible.
Drip Drip is a quirky and highly addictive strategy game that actually tries something new and does it well. It is a simple game, but it’s also a very fun one, very well worth the price of admission. In my opinion it has very little in the way of flaws since everything actually does come together in a very cohesive way, and is great example of simple yet elegant game design. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a nation to save.