Liquid Measure 2
Liquid Measure 2, the second in the series of puzzle games by SmartCodeGames, is one of those unique presentations that can only be described with a cocktail recipe: Take one gallon of Pipe Mania, swirl it around with a quart of those brain teasers where you have to collect four gallons of water (but only have three and five gallon jugs on hand), and stir in a couple tablespoons of simple idea physics. You'll end up with a punch-bowl full of Liquid Measure 2. And altogether, it's quite a tasty drink.
The goal of the game is to direct flows of water into the proper receptacles without letting any go to waste. As you might expect, the water generally flows downwards unless directed by other implements. Using your mouse, you drag and drop the various items to set up the proper aquatic route. In addition to the standard pipes and pots, there are other pieces available for use, including Overflow Pots, which catch a certain amount of water before releasing the extra, and Water Splitters, which splits the stream into two equal streams starting with the direction the arrow upon it is facing. You click the pipe on the right side of the screen, or hit the [spacebar], to turn the water on and see if you've successfully gone with the flow, or have just ended up all wet.
The presentation of Liquid Measure 2 is quite professional, but while the new items should be of interest to those who've played the first game in the series, overall most puzzlers won't find it all that much of a challenge. It felt like a good third of the game's thirty levels was a tutorial, and only a handful of puzzles required significant thought, all clustered at the end. While the interface is easy to understand, the graphics lean to the sterile side: the water doesn't feel nearly splashy enough, and resembles more a streak of blue marker than a waterfall. I doubt that adding such effects would've been worth the trade-off in game processing speed, but it took me out of the experience a bit. While the dripping and draining sound-effects are quite a nice touch, after a while they create an effect akin to placing the player's hand in a bowl of warm water.
Despite these quibbles, Liquid Measure 2 is a game with clever puzzle mechanics and a solid aesthetic that will keep you occupied for a good half hour. If you don't mind an overly easy level of challenge, Liquid Measure 2 makes for a satisfying dip in the flash waterhole.
UPDATE: A new Level Pack has been released!