Hi, I’m Steve Stopps. I’m a project director for Blitz Arcade (the downloadable games division of Blitz Games Studios) and I’m really excited as we’ve just released our new puzzler Droplitz on PlayStation Network. Why so excited?
Well, partly because this is an original Blitz game idea. Blitz is one of the biggest independent game studios in the UK with more than 230 of us working together. And here’s the really cool thing: anyone with a game idea that’s good enough has the chance to get it made. Droplitz is one of those games. It was the brainchild of a Blitz staffer James Parker and from the very first prototype it had everyone hooked. From the first time I saw it I could always imagine people from all over the world playing Droplitz.
Droplitz may not push any technological boundaries, but it’s a blast to play – and totally addictive. You can pick it up to kill a few spare minutes or you can dig in for a long, relaxing session. It’s got a magical, hypnotic quality that captivates and sucks you into the game play. I’ve lost track of the amount of times we’ve been testing the game and before long gathered a small band of spectators staring contentedly at the screen. I’ve never been able to work out exactly why this happens, but I can’t remember another puzzle game being such a draw for spectators.
Although Droplitz can look a little intimidating to some people when they first see it, it is incredibly easy to get the hang of things. You have a board made up of lots of little dials, each with a path cut into it. At the top of the board you have droppers, that drop droplitz into play, and all you have to do is rotate the dials to allow the droplitz to flow from the droppers at the top to the collectors at the bottom. It is an incredibly simple (though elegant) premise. Once you have made a path you will get bonus droplitz that will flow down the path and when it gets to the collector the path you have created will explode and new dials will fall into play -and off you go again.
I think there are a couple of hints I can give from the outset. Firstly, you’ll start losing droplitz from the instant the game starts – DON’T PANIC! This is a game of creating paths. Once you have created a path you can start to regain the lost droplitz. Secondly, once you have made a path don’t just sit back and admire your handy work –you can either make more paths or you start to get the dials ready for when the current path is destroyed, which will make life much easier for you.
At its heart Droplitz is a great little casual game but it has a hardcore mentality. It has such depth of gameplay that it really lives up to the cold cliché, ‘minutes to learn, months to master’. When I first played it I found it a little daunting, but got the hang of it really quickly. In no time at all you start to find strategies that really work for you; simple things like getting rid of some of the trickier dials as soon as you can, or working out ways to get the best out of other dials. Once it clicks you’re hooked, and the fun really starts.
I can’t wait for people to start playing Droplitz, and from the early reviews and comments it seems that people get the relaxed vibe we were aiming for. This could be the ideal game-between-games for the hardcore looking to unwind, or for the casual gamer looking for a more challenging experience. But Droplitz is an amazing game in its own right and a real favourite of ours at Blitz.