A sobering reminder of the perils of free-to-play, Where’s My Water? 2 is quite evidently a business model first and a game second. You could make similar claims of a number of titles, of course, but few are quite so cynical as this.
As before, you dig through rock with your finger to guide water, steam and poison to a trio of crocodiles, collecting ducks on the way. This time, levels are transformed by additional challenges: you might have to avoid switches or pipes on the way down, or collect five musical notes in the right order. Upside-down stages are little more than padding, however, while the irritating auto-scrolling levels that see you labour to keep your water onscreen are likely to prompt a number of retries.
That wouldn’t be a problem but for an energy meter that depletes after every attempt, successful or otherwise; once it’s empty, you either pay for a refill or wait 30 minutes for another attempt. You can, of course, extend the meter via a 69p in-app purchase, yet there’s no way of stopping it running dry, which only exacerbates the frustration of the more intricate challenges. Power-ups make it easier to get all your ducks in a row – necessary for the strict tallies required to unlock later stages – though again you’ll have to pay.
Connect to Facebook, and you can expect your promotional efforts to be rewarded with refills and power-ups. Those who fail to do so can expect a large icon to remind them of their non-compliance after every stage. It’s the final straw: while the original aimed to capture our hearts, the sequel only seems to be after our wallets.