Where’s My Water? – Swampy the Alligator hopes to become bigger than Angry Birds

• 25/09/2011

While most studios team up with developers to create games that support existing properties, Disney is going the opopsite direction with the release of their latest iOS game. Their goal for Swampy the Alligator here isn’t just to snag the top spot for app purchases: they want to see him break into movies and merch too.

In short, they want this alligator to be like the Angry Birds.

Where's My Water? - Disney

Swampy stars in Disney Mobile’s “Where’s My Water?”, and while he lives in the sewers, he’s (ironically) a bit of a clean freak. Players must direct water into Swampy’s shoddy plumbing by cutting paths through the ground, all so Swampy can get his much-needed shower.

A few quick minutes playing the game has confirmed my suspicions: it already seems to have the same addictive charm that made Cut the Rope and Angry Birds such efficient timewasters.

Methinks that’s exactly what Disney Mobile GM Bart Decrem had in mind. Formerly the CEO of Tapulous, makers of one of iOS’s first rhythm games, Decrem has a very keen awareness of what gives a mobile game the “stickiness” that keeps players coming back.

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He notes in an interview with the AP that the mobile space is huge with Disney’s target audience, saying that “this is where a generation of kids is growing up.” He thinks it’s important for Disney to be able to tell compelling new stories on a platform that kids are falling in love with.

Decrem has also said that one of the goals of the launch was to “incubate new characters that can cross over into other Disney business units like movies and merchandise.” Even if Swampy doesn’t quite make it, it seems it’s now a priority for Disney Mobile to take on the Angry Birds.

Angry Birds, if you’ve been lucky enough to live under a rock for the past few months, has spawned a truly obscene amount of merch. Angry Birds clothing, toys, and (less officially) Chinese moon pies have all been spotted, and there’s even word that a movie is in the works. It’s a lofty goal for Disney to shoot for, but one that they’re uniquely equipped to take advantage of if Swampy’s fame transcends his game.

Assuming the interest is there, a Swampy movie could become a reality sooner than expected because Disney can essentially do all the production work in-house. Of course, the company also already has the connections with manufacturers to quickly (and cheaply) churn out gobs of Swampy merchandise. Disney has proven themselves to have considerable muscle when it comes to cross-promotion too, so if this app happens to take off, expect to see Swampy toys in your kid’s Happy Meal before too long.

Where’s My Water? ($0.99) by Disney is a physics-based puzzle game brought to you by the team that created Jelly Cars. This child-friendly universal app will bring hours of enjoyment to gamers of all ages.

The story follows Swampy the Alligator, who lives in the sewer and just wants to take a relaxing bath. Unfortunately, there are other mischievous alligators, roaming around, breaking the water pipes. Your goal is to redirect the water to Swampy’s plumbing so that he can have his much-desired bath.

To get the water flowing, you must dig through the dirt by swiping your finger across the screen. The direction you swipe will create the tunnel for the water to flow through. You can make slight detours in order to pick up rubber ducks along the way. There are many obstacles that you must work around, like walls that move or exploding mines. There is also hazardous waste that you must avoid. In some cases, the best way to get around the harmful liquid is to divert it away from your path of travel. You will sometimes have your way blocked by poisonous algae. To get rid of it, you must divert the hazardous waste, which will eat away the algae, clearing a path for the water. There is also toxic ooze that will destroy the rubber ducks. In these instances, time is of the essence.

Some levels have hidden objects to uncover, like a toothbrush or a shampoo bottle, which unlock bonus levels for even more gameplay. Points are scored by how fast you get the water to Swampy, how many rubber ducks you pick up and whether you send enough water down the pipe to create an overflow. Each level gets increasingly difficult, but is not so hard that young gamers can’t get through it. Adults will find it to be an entertaining casual game and will likely get as addicted to it as any other physics-based puzzle game.

Where's My Water? - Disney

Overall, this universal app is loads of fun and easy to get obsessed with. Levels become challenging, but will not discourage young gamers from playing. Your family will be fighting over who gets to play it next. It is hard to believe that a game this enjoyable is only $0.99.

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(via – appadvice.com, techcrunch.com)

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