App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
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Some folks just can't catch a break. Sprinkle Islands puts the little blue aliens' homes in danger yet again as their planet is pelted by even more flaming garbage. Thankfully the planet's only fire truck is on the job; and this time it's on the move!
As with the earlier games in the series, Sprinkle Islands gives players control over an alien fire truck and sets them loose on blazes that are popping up across the land. Dousing these flames can be a bit tricky when they're hidden behind cliff faces or locked gates, but it's nothing some clever use of water and environmental physics can't take care of. Unlike earlier games in the series, however, every level is comprised of multiple puzzles that will have to be addressed in succession. Thankfully the simplified ladder controls balance out against the added mobility and occasional appearance of fires that can be missed entirely. Now simply dragging up and down will extend and retract it while simultaneously adjusting the angle of the hose, unlike the first game where both were separate actions. Sometimes a boulder will need to be sprayed into a button, other times a rickety bridge may have to be taken down. Even getting the truck moving can be a puzzle in itself at times. And all of this must be completed using a finite amount of water.
All of the charm and cleverness of the original, and then some, is still present in Sprinkle Islands. The puzzles are very well designed, and while they might not be too terribly difficult to piece together it can still be a great challenge to figure out how to complete them without running dry. The boss fights (there are boss fights!), with all their flame spewing and movement patterns, can also be a significant test of one's firefighting abilities as they're quite a bit more "active" than the typical puzzles.
Getting used to the angle of the water spray can take a while, though. In fact, I'm still adjusting to it. A miss here and there in the beginning isn't so bad but in the later stages every drop counts, and wasting a bunch of precious H2O because the shot didn't line up the way I expected can be frustrating. Similarly, as great as the water and object physics are they can be a little too touchy sometimes and actually get in the way. Especially the water, since it has a tendency to build up and create a bottleneck when trying to spray up and around corners.
Sprinkle Islands is a quirky and excellent puzzle game and a nice step up for the series. The puzzles are clever, the bosses insidious, and simply getting the fire truck through an area is a welcome challenge. This is as good as saving a planet from burning space garbage gets.