Aqualux Game Review by Tim Peters
Game Rating = 4/5 Balls
Aqualux by Milkman Games is an inventive twist on a classic puzzle game. While the overall concept of laying pipe from a spigot to a drain is nothing new, the sliding and turning mechanics make for a very different experience. Even though there’s much about Aqualux that still feels like it needs more tweaking, anyone looking for a solid fast-paced puzzle game should check it out.
The pop-up tutorial bubbles quickly explain what’s going on: the Aqua from the spigot needs to get to the drain. To move pipe segments from one place to another, they need to be swapped with adjacent ones. This doesn’t feel as (pardon the pun) fluid as it should, but it’s generally easy to move the pieces around. Later levels require pipe segments to be rotated, and some simply can’t be moved at all. The result allows for a wide variety of puzzles, all with the added difficulty of controlling a steadily oozing Aqua. And after the introductory levels, that difficulty only increases.
CREATIVITY & INNOVATION
What could have been a mediocre rip-off of Pipe Mania has been saved with clever usage of other borrowed game concepts. For example, sliding and rotating puzzles have been around for ages, but they’ve never been applied like they have in Aqualux. Throw in teleporters and other obstacles, and you’ve got plenty of tough puzzles. The “Levels of the Day” is an especially impressive feature, offering levels submitted with the in-game level editor. There are also trophies for the stock campaign that apparently unlock new game modes, though those seem to be the only things the trophies are good for other than bragging rights.
Everything in Aqualux has a bright, stylized look to it. The graphics overall are clear, bold, and easy on the eyes. The only problem is a slight choppiness in the animation. There’s no way to adjust the graphics quality in-game, which is unfortunate for those with lower-end computers.
The snazzy music of Aqualux complements the bold visuals well. A warning when the Aqua is about to get out of control would be helpful, though. The sound effects are also very well done, with a nice organic variety of pops, clicks, and assorted watery noises.
Aqualux is a good deal for $14.95. Not only do you get a fine 100-level campaign, you also get a nice selection of fresh user-made levels every day. It may not be without a few kinks, but this game from Milkman Games is anything but a drip.
BUY THIS GAME IF…
– You loved Pipe Dream
– You love puzzle games
– You want new puzzles on a daily basis for free
DO NOT BUY THIS GAME IF…
– You have a low-end computer and demand crisp animation
– You believe puzzle games should offer more rewards than just trophies
– You have been diagnosed with hydrophobia
MilkMan Games created Aqualux.
Windows XP, Vista and 7.