Where's My Water? for iPad and iPhone: A Tragic Tale about an Anthropomorphic Lizard with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

By Bulent Yusuf on at

In the US, there's a persistent urban legend about pet lizards being flushed down the toilet, which then grow up to become angry, vengeful, sewer-dwelling alligators.

This same legend was the inspiration for Eastman and Laird's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The lesson here is that cruelty to lizards is both detrimental to your health, and also incredibly lucrative.

Why the long preamble? Because it'll help you better understand the premise of Where's My Water?, a physics puzzler by Disney Mobile about an anthropomorphic lizard with a thing about bathing.

It's a joke, see? An alligator that dwells in the sewers? Who's obsessed with good hygiene? Geddit? Oh well, never mind.

How does it play?

The premise is that Swampy the Alligator wants to take a nice, hot, relaxing bath. The kind of bath that might involve scented candles and a CD of whale song. The other residents of the underworld are frankly appalled by this, so they conspire to thrash his bathroom plumbing and rip out his pipes.

As a benevolent interloper, your task is to guide the water to Swampy's bathroom by carving out a path through the dirt and allowing gravity to do its work. Get enough water to the bathroom, and Swampy slaps on the bathing cap and starts whistling in the shower. Fail, and the only moisture that Swampy feels are the salty tears of disappointment running down his cheeks.

The task is further complicated by other tricks and traps that block the path of the water, such as quick growing moss, degenerative pink slime, and colour-coded gateways. You can also collect bonus items like rubber duckies and special bathroom accessories (ooooh, a loofah!) for bonus points.

There's 80 stages altogether, more than enough to keep even the most diligent of gamers preoccupied, and bonus levels can be unlocked if you collect all the hidden items.

Why do we like it?

Where's My Water? was developed by the same folks behind cult smash Jelly Car, and it shows. It's a sophisticated premise cunningly disguised as all-ages fare, with a learning curve that gently guides players from one stage to the next.

The cartoon graphics and cheerful soundtrack are pleasing to the eyes and the ears, and for a character that doesn't actually speak, Swampy the Alligator is a memorable creation. It's a dead certainty he'll be making further appearances on our iDevices in the not-too-distant future.

And then it dawns on us. As we play the game through, from one round of bathing to the next, we slowly realise that this cute, cuddly little game is anything but. It's actually a tragic parable about what happens when an alligator develops obsessive compulsive disorder.

Nice one, Disney. Thanks for traumatising a new generation of impressionable young minds. Killing Bambi's mum wasn't enough for ya?

Where's My Water? costs 69p on the iTunes App Store and is available for iPhone and iPad. [iTunes]