Games stub

Drizzle Review

Posted on December 23, 2010

Finally, a game the epitomizes Yorkshire in a single word. Drizzle, and lots of it.

The Xbox Live Indie games section is like a treasure trove, especially if you're thinking of a treasure trove that's been filled by a pirate who doesn't really have much stuff that's worth hiding. There are some bits of gold in there but they're very few and far between, with most of the marketplace being filled to the brim with stuff that nobody would ever want to play, not with the Xbox Live Arcade sitting so close to it. Gamers Nexus was asked to review Drizzle and, at first, I was apprehensive. I've never reviewed a Xbox Live Indie title before, it was simply that none of them had ever appealed to me. A game is judged based on its box art, as with everything else. I know you're not supposed to “judge a book by its cover,” but the overwhelming urge to do so is insurmountable, it's human nature to take a quick glance at something and instantly assess its value. It doesn't matter if that assessment is to do with danger, monetary value or, in this case, entertainment value. When you look at the box art for most of the Xbox Live Indie titles, it's easy to see why they don't have the same appeal as some of the Xbox Live Arcade games. With that in mind, I downloaded Drizzle and started to play.

Drizzle's simplicity cries for attention: from the menu system, the music, and even the game itself, it's all very simplistic. Drizzle has an air of casual play gripping to its core, obviously the intention of the game in the first place. It's reminiscent of popular casual games such as Bejeweled and Peggle in the sense that the game mechanics are very easy to grasp but difficult to master. The point of the game is to catch the colored rain in the correctly colored cup and then when the cup is full, dispose of it into the correctly colored dispenser. The only difficulty is in the control scheme: the Xbox 360 controller makes manipulating a small grabber (hand) unintuitive. The nature of indie games dictates that the Xbox 360 is probably the most viable option of propagation, but I certainly think that this type of control scheme would have worked better on a touch device instead. Giving the player an option to almost literally grab the container and position them would be exceedingly easy to understand, to the ultimate benefit of the game. Perhaps Microsoft will allow indie developer access to the Kinect at some point in the future and games like Drizzle will see massive improvements in the way they're controlled, until then we're stuck with the Xbox 360 controller and that isn't really the best solution. Not for casual games anyway.


The images used in Drizzle, again, are about what I would expect from an indie game. They're not AAA quality images but they're up there with the best in terms of the indie platform and the audience that kind of game caters for. I especially liked the animation of the hand in Drizzle, with all the other components of the game having very lackluster and simplistic animations, if any at all, it was surprising to see the hand, the main object of the game, had very fluid animations which looked and felt really impressive.

It's easy to recommend a game like Drizzle to the casual audience. If you're a player that can spend hours and hours in Bejeweled, Plants versus Zombies, Droplitz, or a number of other indie games, then you're probably going to get a lot of playtime out of this game. If you're the kind of player that would just skip this in order to get a couple of more hours on the latest Call of Duty then you're not missing much. Looking at it in terms of the indie marketplace, however, Drizzle is one of the better ones up there. You could do a lot worse and it's good to see that small developers and bedroom coders can still get games out to the masses that are entertaining and thought-provoking. Long live the indie games.