They’ve done it again! And by ‘they,’ I mean Disney Mobile’s Creature Feep, and by ‘done it again,’ I mean created something almost entirely new. Disney Mobile today launched ‘Where’s My Perry?‘ for Apple iOS and Android devices and the newest entry into the immensely popular ‘Where’s My Water?’ has already been garnering raves from fans of both Swampy the Gator and Disney Channel’s ‘Phineas and Ferb.’
While some of the mechanics are the same, keeping it true to the franchise, Disney has once again successfully introduced ample gameplay design changes to warrant being its own standalone game worth paying for. Whereas Swampy required water to take a bath and Cranky required poison to make his ‘food’ algae-free, the premise here is that Perry the Platypus /aka/ Agent P is needed by Major Monogram at the OWCA (Organization Without a Cool Acronym), but the tubes he usually uses to transport himself are jammed. The objective is to use water (and steam) to power the tubes to send Perry tube-surfing so he can save the world, or at least settle disputes between Major Monogram and Carl.
Dr. Doofenshmirtz has other things on his mind, however, and that’s to stop Perry the Platypus for the last time on each level. To do this, he has three -inators strategically placed throughout each level: the heat-inator, the freeze-inator and the celeberate-inator. The last is the easiest to explain since it just sucks up whatever it can and transforms it into a party (via confetti). The first two make up the core physics of the game, turning water into steam (and vice versa) and water into ice (and vice versa). So for example, if a heat-inator strikes ice, it turns it into water. If it strikes water again, it turns to steam, and the whole process can be reversed. In addition, there is a new liquid called sludge. Sludge has an amazingly high viscosity (much, much more than ooze) and it can be really tricky to work with. In addition, sludge, which is normally black and neutral, can be affected by -inators, making them have the same properties and effects when they touch water. Sludge can cover grates and while blue sludge and orange sludge affect water, as well as cause a explosion when they come in contact with each other, black sludge doesn’t interfere with regular water. Essentially the physics are pretty intense on this iteration of the genre and they often make the game far more fun and challenging to play.
Like ‘Where’s My Water?’ items are collected throughout the levels and they, in turn, unlock bonus levels. Here the items are OWCA files. Some are files on other members of the OWCA (or as some prefer to call it, ‘a petting zoo with hats’) and some are files on Dr. Doof’s -inators. All of the dossiers are taken from the ‘Phineas and Ferb’ series and offer up some good (and ‘brief’) reads. While Swampy’s bonus levels involved using the accelerometer to mimic the same gameplay, ‘Where’s My Perry?’ bonus levels involve guiding Balloony (from ‘The Chronicles of Meap’ and ‘Meapless in Seattle’) through a scrolling screen much like the balloon levels from ‘Where’s My Water?.’ After tri-gnoming the first four introductory levels, I started on the bonus levels and I have to say my first reaction was ‘what the heck?’ However, after playing a few more levels, my reaction completely changed to ‘no, really, what the heck?’ It just seemed so ridiculously easy and — for lack of a better word — dumb. My sentiments did change, however, as I progressed further through the bonus levels as it started to require using elements from the regular game to help Balloony reach the top without popping or being pushed off the edge of the screen. Add to this that the screen scrolls by itself, with or without Balloony, so it can be a challenge sometimes to coordinate everything just right.
Achievements also exist, but they’re pretty primitive right now and I managed to get most of them just from playing the game through the first time. I would expect that to change as more levels get introduced. Like the other games in the franchise, new levels are expected to be delivered in the future at no additional charge.
And, of course, there are other contributions from the television series. Voice talent recorded specifically for the game which interjects itself as you play (it can smartly be turned off if you — ahem — grow weary of Carl’s voice over and over), complete with sub-titles, which can sometimes get in the way of gameplay, but can also smartly be toggled on and off individually. Completing levels usually rewards the players with a little animated vignette which depicts Agent P’s arrival to the OWCA headquarters and, of course, lots of other tributes along the way.
All in all, as a well-documented fan of the franchise, I have to give ‘Where’s My Perry?’ two thumbs and a sore index finger up. Although it took only a couple of hours to get through it all, it was incredibly entertaining and I can’t wait for the next installment. ‘Where’s My Perry?’ is an instant classic five years in the making.
Disney’s ‘Where’s My Perry?’ is $.99 and available now for Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices via the App Store and should be available for Android devices shortly.