The Splatters review



There are puzzle games and there are puzzle games that use physics. This game my friend is the epitome of physics puzzle games. If randomness isn't "your bag" look the other way otherwise be warned that The Splatters is a Tour de Force in the "oh, I get it" moment. "I don't get it" isn't an option. 

Now, lets have a physics lesson. The Splatters is derived around the simple mechanic of "splatting". Manoeuvre your splatter around the environment to splat them to the point they explode into a bunch of liquid that activates bombs that are scattered around the arena. Blowup all of the bombs and move on to the next objective. As simple as that is it's anything but that once you are introduced to more mechanics later on in the game. Unfortunately that is where the problem with the first few hours creeps its little head. The entire initial portion (Become A Talent) of the game is a giant tutorial. Although it does do a rather good job of giving you fun things to do with your new found skills you are quickly brought back to the classroom so to speak to be taught yet another skill for far too long. 

Among the skills you'll learn besides flinging your Splatter around is forward flip and reverse flip which are not what you think they are. Flipping in this game is essentially rewind and fast forward, but with a gigantic catch. You ARE NOT manipulating time. What you are doing is pushing the momentum of what you just did in the reverse direction. All of the physics properties that your Splatter has is thrown into the other direction giving you some really cool opportunities to have your head explode in delight or what is often the case, frustration.



As clever as this game can be with its physic modeled gameplay that is ultimately what will make you want to put the controller down over time for at least a break every once in a while. After you get over the solid presentation that grabs your eye with bright colors and a wackey soundtrack get ready to pull your hair out if you still have any. Much of what you learn throughout the Become A Talent section of The Splatters is straight forward all the way up until you start to get into situations where the physics take over and you feel that you don't really know what's going to happen when you are required to make an elaborate shot that is entirely dependant on rather or not the game cooperates with what you want to happen. Once this sets in you'll be restarting, restarting some more, and restarting even more after that. Thankfully the game resets itself stylishly fast or this would be a deal breaker almost immediately as you are asked to accomplish more and more complicated shots. 

Once you're out of the Talent mode and unlock the other two modes "Combo Nation" and "Master Shots" that is where the meat of the game stands and just as stated before, get ready for frustration on an epic level if you aren't a Splatter savant. Combo Nation requires you to chain together stunts as much as possible to achieve your allotted star value in the classic 1,2, or 3 star rating. Improvising your shots is a must, otherwise you'll quickly be wanting to throw your controller into orbit. Master Shots is also exactly what it sounds like. You are given a type of shot to achieve in the form of a cloud shaped just so. Make sure not to reposition your Splatter in this mode and let it fly with the exact shot the game tells your to perform. Fail to accomplish the goal exactly like its asked and you'll need to restart until you get it just right.

On top of the gameplay is a surprisingly well organized set of social features that allow you to show off your accomplishments after each and every event. Accompanying the classic score leaderboards is something called Splatter TV. In Splatter TV you can watch clips of other players as they accomplish crazy feats of Splatter physics. This feature can be a big help for those who just don't get it and need to see how it's done even if it's just to see how to do specific stunts with your Splatter.

Ultimately though, the physics based gameplay of The Splatters is it's triumph and downfall all at the same time. As dependant as the game is on the physics being the catalyst for everything you do it's the very thing that will cause frustration. If you don't get it almost immediately you will likely hate this game with a passion. Those who so called "get it" will have a blast and be more than willing to over come the quirks and constant restarts. Physic savants do need apply. All others who are wary, maybe you should look the other way.

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