853147_largerI'm a pretty huge Where's My Water? fan. I've beaten every course on every iteration of the game, and it's my perfect go-to for when I have a few extra minutes to kill. Those were paid apps with meaty expansions though, and now Disney has seen fit to offer up a freemium-filled sequel. But while the IAP system, an insistence of Facebook Connect, and the freemium makeover in Where's My Water? 2 [Free] feel highly forced, it's still mostly the same old Swampy we know and love. Mostly.

Don't get too excited, as you're still going to be digging through dirt to get water to a bathtub, so not much has changed fundamentally. As always, there are three ducks in each level to collect, and this time, you pretty much need to get as many as possible to unlock level gates. Yep, unlike past iterations where you could skip levels at your leisure, you have to actually ace some levels to progress to a new set. For veterans like me it's not really an issue, but I can see more casual players getting pretty frustrated -- because after all, the beauty of the original games is the fact that you could play them at your own pace.

screen1024x1024Gameplay-wise the 100 levels on offer have a bit more variety this time around instead of your standard "water to tub" puzzles. There are now levels where you have to avoid collecting any ducks, in addition to upside-down stages, and special challenges like leading a stream of water through a constantly scrolling screen (multi-touch, a feature that's always been in the series, really shines here). The Mystery Duck levels from the original's add-on campaign also return, and are as enjoyable as ever. As a whole it's not nearly as strong as what I'd consider to be the best game in the series (that honor goes to Where’s My Mickey?), but it's still a ton of fun nonetheless.

But not all is well in Swampy-Land, as I ran into some annoyances along the way. For one, Facebook Connect is constantly in your face after every level, and it's even a lingering presence on the map screen. Sadly, Where's My Water? 2 constantly pesters you to reach out to your friends to refill your energy and even unlock more content late-game. If you absolutely hate this "feature," odds are you'll uninstall the game before you put up with it more than once -- or just outright refuse to install it.

The other potential issue is energy. Yes, an energy timer is in Where's My Water? 2. Even if you can pretty much play at your leisure early on, it's puzzling to think why, after multiple successful fully paid iterations, that Disney would inject a freemium scheme into the franchise.

At the time of this writing, there is no way to buy the game outright. Instead, the game offers an "energy increase" IAP for $16.99 (it's not even an infinite unlock!), among other power-up purchases. You absolutely don't need them as you can beat the game without them, but it's borderline offensively priced, and I'm sure some people will be suckered into it.

Where's My Water? 2 definitely needs a few improvements if it wants to reach the quality of its predecessors, most notably a strong pull-back on its aggressive IAPs. But despite the attempt at walling off its own players, there are a ton of intriguing concepts and mini-games that expand upon the Where's My Water? formula that fans will enjoy.

TouchArcade Rating

  • Anilones

    No mention of the requirement of three keys to progress after level 30? Each costing 69p or knowing three friends on Facebook.

    • mr_wexer

      What the hell is this crap!? First PvZ2 sucks the fun out of the game with IAP everywhere, now this tripe...

      I'm getting the Steam Box and buying a Mororola Razr :/

      • nini

        All IAPs are obviously made equal, insidious and evil. Even though PvZ2 was very balanced with their use of IAPs and this this hinges way more on Facebook integration than cash money, it's still a mechanic you hate so yeah, also purest evil!

        Also some comment on this still scoring more than LIMBO OMG.

      • Jake7905

        Bad comparison, PvZ2 gets the free-to-play formula right (no Facebook pestering, no energy bars or timers, no paywall). But this game gets it completely wrong, and is a good example of how freemium can ruin a game.

        So don't go and punish yourself, there's no need to switch phones.

      • RoundPiplup

        I'm just saying I think Plants Vs Zombie 2 is better than this. It's because you DON'T need to purchase any IAP to continue forward straight. But in Where's My Water 2, it seems like the energy bar becomes a limit to play everything. Then we will have to be forced to invite friends. The WORST THING is that you have to pay a dollar, for 1 ENERGY. The larger energy bar seems like so expensive, I could get like 15 other games than a larger energy bar.(Because of tax, I can't download 17 games with my spare dollars.) Man... Why can't we just pay for the app than paying tons of IAP. They are EVIL.

        But for me, I only think the IAP are evil if they are just being greedy, or if they are not fair enough. I won't buy any IAP from both, Where's My Water 2 and Plants Vs. Zombie 2 through. Until they make a nicer deal without being too greedy, then I should be fine with that.

      • mako9227

        Although I dislike IAP greatly I feel that they didn't ruin the game in PvZ2. This game, on the other hand, is a completely different story! Timers?Seriously? That's pretty much stating that they'd rather have you pay them money than play their game.

        However, it should be noted that the developer is not always to blame for this. Instead it is often the publisher who forces the IAP into the game after development. This is similar to if an artist were paid to let a child scribble all over his painting with crayons just after finishing it.

    • Magnalon

      The key stuff is mentioned - "unlocking more content late-game."

      • Anilones

        "You absolutely don't need them as you can beat the game without them" suggests this isn't the case. An absolute nonsense of a review.

      • Magnalon

        Completely different IAPs mentioned there.

      • NCBrian

        So then how do you beat the game without buying keys which I think is the claim that is being contested. As he said, the claim that you can beat the game without paying doesn't appear to be true

      • Magnalon

        Facebook friends are free.

      • NCBrian

        oh i see - and that provides keys? didn't know, i don't use facebook!

    • Zerol3onheart

      I agree. I was looking for TAs opinion on the Level 30 issue, but alas, nothing. Oh well. I deleted it a day later.

  • Morgan01

    Money whore....

  • cowtruck123

    I hardly ever complain about freemium, but this games is just... ruined by it. I deleted it because it wouldn't let me play, and i was always worrying about how much energy i have left..

  • toxiccheese

    This game is at best a 2/5 for me. The IAP is absolutely terrible. Timers?? I hated this mechanic as soon as I saw it in game. Why debs continue to make you wait to play their game is beyond me.

    Hey come play our game... Ok 5 minutes is enough.... Now wait a while. Forget it, delete and move on to something else that actually let's me play.

  • jeffyg3

    3.5/5 stars is still a bit too generous for this game. The energy bar is completely shameful and ruins the entire gameplay as the game progresses

  • Flare_TM

    Just play 2 or 3 levels now and again in bite-size chunks like usual ios games, problem solved

  • ThinkTwice

    The obnoxious Facebook connect thing killed the game for me. Deleted it. Sad, because I really loved the first Where's my water.

  • antix

    The 3 Key Paywall is the worst offender for me. While I usually have no problem with games that connect to Facebook, Wheres my Water 2? assumes that out of the 200+ people on my friends list, that they're also playing. But nope, not one person is the last time I checked (yesterday). So good job Disney...thought you were suppose to make dreams come true... 🙁

  • Kane

    Where's my Wallet? Sound about right for this 'APP' not a game

    • Jake7905

      Nice one

  • mako9227

    How does a mediocre game like this that is practically ruined by IAP get a higher score than an excellent game with no IAP(such as Limbo)?

  • D. Bida

    Seriously? 3.5 stars? You guys give waaay too many horrible game these 3.5 stars crap

  • Acfly

    very good

  • Ranade03

    How I can get 1 key to enter the next level.

  • Gouri Vidhate-Mahashabde

    How to get 3 keys after 30th level? I have tried through facebook also but no luck. Kindly suggest on this.

Where's My Water? 2 Reviewed by Chris Carter on . Rating: 3.5