Drizzle is a game that is damn hard to assign to any specific genre.  You could call it a puzzle game, a strategy game or a casual/family game.  It was developed by Annihilated Games although the marketplace lists the developer as AnonymousDevs.  This game has been well over a year in the making after many setbacks.  It sells for 240MS points ($3) on the Indie games section of the Xbox marketplace.

Drizzle places you in charge of riding the world of pollution.  You control a robot hand that places cups under acid rain clouds in order to filter and recycle the rain water.  Different colored clouds require different colored cups to collect the rain.  The water is used to grow trees and make the world a better place.  A few unlockable robot friends will help you along the way while evil corporate robots will try to stop your progress.  It sounds like a terrible idea but it’s actually pretty fun.

So here’s what I liked:

Upgrades – A lot of games force you to grind for in-game currency for ages before you can purchase upgrades.  Thankfully, Drizzle allows you to upgrade fairly often.  You end up being fully upgraded right around the time that you finish the main story your first time through.  Grinding for better skill sets would have killed any fun this game creates.

Use of colors – It’s rare you get a game that uses the color of the controller buttons as a core game mechanic.  It’s quite a nice change of pace.  I found myself having to think before I pressed buttons in the early stages.  It’s been a while since a game forced me to change my thought process like that.  I actually feel like a better gamer because of it.  I would like to see more of this in future games.

It’s just plain fun – It’s tough to explain the joy I get from playing this game.  It’s new and refreshing and it reminds me of the way A Kingdom for Kefflings made me feel.  It sounds and looks like such a dull game but it’s so damn addictive once you give it an honest chance.  It’s just a shame that most people will look right past this game when they see a few screen shots and the fact that it is a $3 Indie game.

And here’s what I didn’t like:

It’s too short & easy – The saying “you get what you pay for” fits this game perfectly.  For $3, you get about 2 hours or gameplay.  I would love to see this game as a $10 XBLA title with a more in-depth story, but that’s all wishful thinking.  There are only 6 levels in Drizzle and only 3 of them are challenging.  The first three levels serve as the learning curve building your ability  to multitask.  Then the last 3 levels actually test your newly acquired skills.  Sadly though, only the last level, Japan, actually poses a serious challenge.  I had no problem getting perfect scores on every level other than Japan in less than 3 tries.

Overall, I think this is a great game.  My only complaint is the length of the game.  I felt it was well worth my $3, but I can easily see how this game won’t appeal to the average gamer.  My only words of advice are to try the demo before you write Drizzle off as a dumb game.  Sometimes you can be pleasantly surprised  by giving strange looking games an honest shot.  A Kingdom for Kefflings, Flower, Viva Piñata, Animal Crossing; remember how those great games probably drew negative thoughts the first time you saw them?  Drizzle is in the same boat.  Sitting down and trying the demo is the only way to tell if you will like this game or not.  You might love it, or you might hate it.  But I really don’t think there are any “in between” values with this one.

Score: Try it