For the most part Atlus has been known for creating stellar role-playing games such as the Persona franchise. So I was really intrigued in checking out what some might consider a departure from their usual repertoire, with the Blitz Arcade developed puzzle title Droplitz. At its core, Droplitz is a pretty standard puzzle game that takes the same Tetris like feel and concept and attempts to apply its own approach. To put it simply, if you’ve played Tetris before, or any other game like it really, than you should pretty much already know what to expect. Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily. But at the same time Droplitz doesn’t really do anything new to take this old concept and turn it on its head. Some might get the impression that it’s sort of a spin on the hacking mini game from Bioshock. Though despite the fact that its not a complete departure from an old genre, some will find enjoyment with what is at times, an addicting puzzle game.
The gameplay is pretty straightforward. Players get a puzzle layout of various paths that can rotate in order to create a working path that goes from the top containers were the drops fall, to the bottom containers were they are collected. The paths themselves vary. One path can direct the drops in one direction, while another can go up to 4 different directions. Once you get a working path going, the correct path will highlight and eventually disappear were new paths will drop for the next set of droplitz. From here you can get multipliers depending on how well you do and even use power-ups, which are good for clearing the entire set of paths and start anew. From what I found, the game doesn’t really end until you’ve run out of drops before finding a correct path to the bottom. To put it in perspective there is one trophy/achievement that you can earn for lasting 2 hours. Good luck with that one as Droplitz does have a bit of a difficult curve to it.
Though despite the difficulty, the game will help you out by softly pulsing or lighting up a few of the paths that you should be using. Once you take notice, everything clicks and you’re able to find the correct path easily. It’s because the game does this that makes it a relaxing experience, and doesn’t have me hurling my controller out the window. It’s also not really a game were you have to be good at puzzle games to enjoy. After a while you really get the hang of it and it becomes something anyone can enjoy without getting too frustrated at not being quick enough to figure out the paths.
One really positive thing that stands out with Droplitz is just how much game you get for just $10. There are 4 modes included, Classic mode is where you start and you’ll need to do pretty well in this mode in order to unlock the other modes. With Classic mode, you get 9 different layouts that grow in size as you progress, as well as becoming more and more challenging. The 3 other modes add a different element to the game and with a good amount of time and dedication are worth checking out, though the other modes won’t really take the gameplay in a significantly different direction. The gameplay will pretty much stay the same the whole way through. The game however lacks any kind of multiplayer, but leader board support is available. The soundtrack isn’t anything special, but more importantly isn’t too distracting and was surprisingly relaxing.
I don’t think games have to do anything new to be enjoyable, and Droplitz isn’t too bad if you’re a fan of the style. But there are so many other similar puzzle games that chances are, you’ve already played Droplitz, in a sense. It’s a nice simple, relaxing game but it just lacks depth. A title like this might be worth the $10 drop if you were able to take it on the go, so consider picking up the iphone version if you have that option. Otherwise you can get Droplitz for the PC, Xbox 360, and Playstation 3 for $9.99. But something that developer Blitz Arcade did right was making Droplitz more of a relaxing experience rather than a stressful one. There is nothing necessarily broken with Droplitz. But as I was playing it I couldn’t help but feel that I’ve simply been there, done that.