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Fluidity: Spin Cycle

by Billy Berghammer - September 4, 2012, 8:33 am PDT
Total comments: 7

Fluidity disables the 3D on the 3DS, but it brings the same water-controlling madcap fun to the portable world.

A while back the esteemed Jonathan Metts hit me up to recommend a WiiWare title called Fluidity. I had played the game at a previous PAX Prime, and was eager to try out the final version. The game was enjoyable, and while I never finished it, it’s one of those games in my backlog that I've been meaning to revisit. Now, Curve Studios is back with a follow-up titled Fluidity: Spin Cycle, which refines some of the elements of the original, and makes the overall game much more suitable for portable play.

As the story goes, a wizard had a book with beautiful pictures that he wanted to bring to life. By utilizing magical rainbow spirits, he was successful, but unfortunately pesky evil goop ruins the fun and messed everything up. By utilizing the awesome power of water, your job is to rescue the rainbow spirits and rid the world of evil goop.

If you played the original, what's immediately noticeable is the change in art style, and Spin Cycle has a distinct old storybook aesthetic to it, which is quite charming. Levels are broken down into different blocks or areas – much like a comic book. By tilting the 3DS, you tilt the world that moves your pool of water. By manipulating your water through different ramps, passageways, and jumps, you'll locate stranded water drops, the missing rainbow spirits, as well as puzzle pieces. Abilities, such as gathering your water into a tight pool, are back in and now mapped to a button on the touch screen, and the representative on hand also mentioned water, ice, and vapor forms will return later in the game as well.


One of the new key moves is being able to completely rotate the 3DS in 360 degrees, allowing for you to pilot your water mass through new looping and twisting canals and shafts. 3D has been completely disabled for Spin Cycle due to this new control mechanic, and while you can actually rotate the 3DS, I learned that tilting the 3DS downwards  gave the same desired effect while also allowing for better control. The levels in the demo reflect testing this new mechanic, as well as bringing back the basic moves, such as jumping over chasms (Jump is mapped to pressing L and R), destroying pools of goo, and pooling water to trigger switches that unlock doors.  For now, it seems levels are now laid out sequentially (level  1, level 2, etc)  with Spin Cycle, and you’re actually now rated (1-5 stars) on how much water you end up with at the end of a level.

Spin Cycle is shaping up to be a fantastic sequel, and seems to really refine and sharpen the concept of Fluidity. I like that the levels are sequential, which will reduce having to scour the map for an elusive missed open door. The visuals are much more organic, and feel much more alive than what I experienced in the original Fluidity. The controls are what really feel great, and although the 3D was ditched for Spin Cycle, I hope that the new level designs and rotating mechanic more than makes up for it.


KikoriMinoru Yamaizumi, Japan CorrespondentSeptember 04, 2012

This will be yet another great game that Japanese 3DS owners miss.
Other games:
Mighty Switch Force
Mutant Mudds
Pinball games
and more

So the first one never made it to Japan? Weird, since Nintendo published it. I believe WayForward is trying to get MSF to Japan though, so there's some hope.

Killer_Man_JaroTom Malina, Associate Editor (Europe)September 04, 2012

Finally, the first 3DS title to do something meaningful with the gyro sensor. Props to Billy for these PAX impressions, by the way.

I'm really glad they mapped jumping to button presses for this one. I think the tilt controls are great for Fluidity, but the shake-jumping was too hard to master, and it seems to have turned off many players.

TJ SpykeSeptember 05, 2012

I am one of them. I finally got around to playing the game (I got it the first time Club Nintendo offered it) and I didn't like having to shake the Wii Remote to jump. It seemed all too often that it didn't work perfectly (i.e. there were times I would try to jump across platforms and it wouldn't work, causing me to try again). It was a great looking game though.

ejamerSeptember 05, 2012

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

I'm really glad they mapped jumping to button presses for this one. I think the tilt controls are great for Fluidity, but the shake-jumping was too hard to master, and it seems to have turned off many players.

In one way, I kind of liked was how the waggle jump felt imprecise. When controlling a puddle of water that seemed to make sense (less so when controlling ice or trying to get your cloud to respond). It also seemed to be sensitive to how much of a shake you gave, jumping higher or just shaking up your pool of water a little bit, and felt good that way.

However, on more than one occasion it got annoying to repeatedly be left flailing when trying to make a precision jump. While a neat gimmick that I didn't hate in this circumstance, getting rid of waggle and moving to a button press sounds like a incredibly smart improvement.

PogueSquadronSeptember 07, 2012

I'm a little bummed to hear that the exploration aspect of the first title has been replaced by a more linear experience, but a linear experience would probably work better for a portable title. I haven't played Fluidity in months (making my way towards the end of the game), and it's a little intimidating to think about the fact that I'll have to figure out where to go and all that. At least with Spin Cycle, I can pick it up and play it without having to remember which Rainbow Drops I have/haven't collected.

Be careful with those 3DS' people! Time to put that new 3DS XL hinge to the test on this one.

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Genre Adventure
Developer Curve Digital

Worldwide Releases

na: Fluidity: Spin Cycle
Release Dec 27, 2012
jpn: Gurutto Splash
Release Dec 19, 2012
eu: Hydroventure: Spin Cycle
Release Dec 13, 2012
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