App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
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When I took a look at the original Sprinkle a while back, I was completely smitten. The adorable doomed aliens definitely brought a smile to my face, but it was the gameplay that stole my heart. I fell head-over-heels for the water physics-focused puzzle solving and fire dousing combinations. So how does Sprinkle Junior stack up? Well, that all depends on who’s asking.
The core concept behind this follow-up is to provide the same Newtonian waterworks as the original, but without all the penalties and time constraints. It is, for lack of a better term, the “Kid Friendly” version of what could already be considered a kid’s game. Actually, I suppose in this case it’s more of a “toddler friendly” version.
Most of what made the first game so awesome is still here. Players can still spray water along various paths, push obstacles and even put out the occasional fire, only the interface has been simplified (not entirely unexpected from something with “Junior” in the title). Tapping and holding on the little extra-terrestrial Tinker-Toy fire truck will unleash the H2O, while dragging up and down will raise and lower the hose. It still allows for plenty of hydro-hyjinks, but there’s no more fretting over running out of the precious fluids or angling the spray incorrectly. It’s something of a free ride. Although some levels require direct interaction (with a finger, not water) with other objects in the environment, such as pulling up mushrooms in order to reach blocked flames.
While all this is great for the young-uns and makes for a nice, leisurely introduction to the franchise for newcomers, it’s all incredibly easy. With no water or time limit, I was able to breeze through the (all new) 22 levels on offer before I’d even completed my morning commute. And with no stars to earn or bonuses to unlock (or even scores to gloat over), there’s very little reason to go back to it.
But again, whether or not Sprinkle Junior is worth someone’s time depends entirely on who’s asking. If it’s a parent looking for something to entertain the crap out of their offspring, then this is a no-brainer. Likewise if anyone wants to dip a toe into the alien life-saving business without the stress of possible failure. However, if it’s more “classic” Sprinkle they’re after, this might be something of a disappointment. It’s a wonderful toy, of sorts, and a great introduction, but it’s far too simple for those looking for any sort of challenge.