Overview

Droplets HD is a puzzle game from XIMAD where players match pairs of water droplets with the goal of making the water droplets disappear.

Features

Droplets HD features plenty of levels, familiar puzzle-style gameplay as well as OpenFeint support.

The Good

The goal of Droplets HD is to flick water droplets so the droplets make pairs. Players can only flick droplets into other droplets, and once you have one droplet left, the droplet disappears and the level is complete. So the goal is to solve each level buy flicking droplets in a certain order, which involves predicting where each droplet needs to be so that it hits the next droplet, and so on.

The Main Menu offers two modes for play. “Pro Mode” employs a timer, and players lose points for taking too long to complete the level. “Just for Fun” mode features exactly the same gameplay as “Pro Mode”, minus the timer.

The Bad

In my experience playing Droplets HD, the puzzles often seemed unsolvable. More than few times, I encountered levels that just simply seemed impossible to win. On top of this, the game also seems to suffer from a lack of smooth gameplay. It once crashed on me in mid-level and did not allow me to fling droplets. Mysteriously enough, it would still allow me to exit to the Main Menu, which was pretty frustrating.

Another notable problem is that Droplets HD is achingly boring. This sort of “match the colors” gameplay featured in Droplets HD has been done countless times before, but with much more flair. Droplets HD simply offers nothing new, and the graphics and gameplay lacks both originality and personality.

The user interface and menu setup is also irritating, if not even bizarre. When the player selects an invalid option, a five second long “Wrong Move!” popup window notification is displayed. Additionally, every level ends with a generic “Your score is ___.” popup menu, which is redundant since the player’s score is always displayed in the upper left corner of the screen. These uninformative popups only serve to slow down this already dull game even more, and it’s a mystery to me why XIMAD felt they were necessary or even helpful.

Perhaps most ironically, the App Store description for Droplets HD touts the game’s “stunning graphics”. If, by “stunning,” they mean “2D static images that look like a 1980′s children’s cartoon, but worse,” then the description could be considered accurate. However, for my money, there is nothing stunning about the graphics in Droplets HD. The graphics are dull, flat and simply uninteresting, with virtually no animation of any kind.

As if all this is not bad enough, the sound effects are equally underwhelming. The only sounds during gameplay are the “splut” sound of one droplet hitting another and the fanfare when the payer wins the level…which is actually the “ta da” sound effect from the Windows 95 OS. To be fair, the menu does have a nice ambient rainforest background effect, complete with chirping crickets and bird calls. It would have been nice if this had also been the backdrop for the gameplay, but alas, it was not to be, and there is not any music to speak of either.

The Verdict

I hate to say it, but even for $1.99, Droplets HD is an overpriced game that offers nothing new in terms of gameplay, and it generally offers very little in the way of actual fun. With dull graphics and poor, laggy, unreliable gameplay, Droplets HD isn’t much more than a cheaply made Bejewelled knockoff, so just save your money and buy Bejewelled instead.