Genre: Video GamesPuzzle
Release Date: 01/13/2013
Platform(s): Nintendo 3DS
Online Enabled: No
ESRB Rating: E
ESRB Explanation: For Comic Mischief, Mild Fantasy Violence
Common Sense Says: Fun, downloadable 3DS puzzler lets kids play with physics.
Common Sense Rates It:
Parents need to know
Parents need to know that Fluidity: Spin Cycle is a physics-based puzzle game without much in the way of iffy content. Players get to experiment with the effects of gravity as they spin their 3DS system around to pour a water spirit through various mazes, solving little navigational puzzles along the way. Just be sure your kids are careful about where and when they play; it's easy to lose grip of the console while turning it around, which could result in a tumble or two. This game is a download only game for the Nintendo 3DS.
- Families can talk about gravity. How does gravity work? What would our world be like if there was no gravity? How is gravity used in other games?
- Families can also discuss the physics of liquid. Do you think the fluid in the game accurately mimics the behavior of real-world liquids?
What's the story?
Available only as a download for 3DS, FLUIDITY: SPIN CYCLE puts players in control of a water spirit who needs to splish and splash its way through a variety of mazes in a storybook brought to life. His goal: rescue rainbow spirits that have been locked away by wicked black goop. Players control the water spirit's movements by tilting and spinning their 3DS, in effect pouring him up and down hills and through tight passages. They'll also get to combat the dark goop by washing over it, throw switches to open doors, alter gravity in limited ways, and search out collectibles, including a golden puzzle piece hidden in each level.
Is it any good?
This highly playable puzzler grabs hold quickly with its highly intuitive motion-based controls. Spinning a 3DS to control the flow of the game's water spirit just feels right, and the difficulty of the puzzles grows so gradually that kids are unlikely to become too frustrated. Plus, setting the action inside a book brought to life -- you'll actually pass by passages of prose in the background describing, say, the dinosaur bones you're washing over -- invites players to take interest in not just the action, but also the world. It's a little short, but lots of collectibles means there's plenty of reason to go back and replay each maze multiple times. A great pick to kill a few minutes on a bus or an hour while nestled on the couch.
How to play
Playbility: In-game instructions explain everything, and the puzzles aren't terribly difficult. However, spinning the 3DS to pour your water spirit through mazes makes it easy to get a bit disoriented and lose track of the system's buttons, which are occasionally required to perform actions.
The Good Stuff
Messages: Kids will get a bit of a brain workout as they experiment with the effects of gravity on liquid and figure out solutions to physics-based puzzles.
Role Models: The game's water spirit protagonist is a noble little guy compelled to slog around mazes in search of kidnapped rainbow spirits.
Ease of play: In-game instructions explain everything, and the puzzles aren't terribly difficult. However, spinning the 3DS to pour your water spirit through mazes makes it easy to get a bit disoriented and lose track of the system's buttons, which are occasionally required to perform actions.
What to watch out for
Violence & scariness: Players can make sentient bits of dark goop disappear with a flash by having their water spirit wash over them.
Language: Not an issue
Consumerism: Not an issue