The Splatters

The_Splatters_XBLA
9.3 Overall Score
Fun: 10/10
Controls: 9/10
Frustration: 10/10

Fun I Easy to pick up

Controls sometimes frustrating

Written by on April 16, 2012 in [, , , , , ]

My wife casually sat down beside me and watched as I maneuvered my gelatinous “Splatter” on the screen, trying to get a feel for the controls.  It was a pleasant introduction into the world of The Splatters as I exploded my goo all over the level in a successful attempt to detonate jelly covered bombs.  It was funny, it was cute, and most of all, it was fun,

My wife smiled.  “Can I play a level?”

She looked excited to try the game, which isn’t a normal reaction for her.  You see, my wife is not a gamer by any stretch of even the most brilliant of imaginations, but she wanted to play.

I wasn’t about to stand in her way, so I handed over the controller.  She didn’t give it back for an hour and a half.

After she surrendered the controller to me, which was only done because it was late and she was getting tired, she had left me in kind of a spot since I had no idea how to do the tricks as effectively as she was doing them.

You see, The Splatters is a game where you have to take slime people and fling them across the levels in an attempt to detonate the bombs laid across them.  It’s not as easy as it sounds, though and with each passing level, you are required to use different, increasingly difficult “stunts” to kill your Splatters in the most epic ways.

So here I was, in the middle of the game, trying to navigate the levels by flinging myself, reversing time, and blowing myself up and had a blast doing it.  Going back to play the levels I missed proved fun as the game rewards new combos and stunts with higher scores.

After completing the initially available puzzles, the game unlocks two new modes, each with its own challenges.  In one, you must use the stunts provided to clear the board and the other is a test to string together the stunts to make a nice combo string.  I expected these levels to be the same as the ones you had to defeat before unlocking them, but I was pleasantly surprised to be proven wrong.

The game is a blast to play and is easy to pick up; however difficult to master.  In fact, I would put it up with my other favorite puzzle games of all time, such as Tetris, Portal, and Peggle; however, it has a few problems that those games don’t.

The controls, while functional, are a little imprecise for the Xbox 360 controller, but I think that we’ve all been accepting of that for ages when it comes to these types of games.  This really becomes frustrating when I have a plan in place and after my fifty second attempt, I clear the level by using the same exact plan that I abandoned thirty turns ago.  Now, of course, this all might just be chaos theory rearing its ugly Jeff Goldblum-esque head, but it still makes me feel like I had been cheated out of thirty minutes of my time that I could have been figuring out another puzzle.

The game also feels like it is smarter than you.  I don’t mean that the game is more difficult or anything like that (which it is), but the game will just figure that you cannot win at some points and then start the level over again when you still have Splatters to blow up.  It’s almost like the game is making fun of your pathetic attempt at the puzzle.  It doesn’t even warn you about when the level is about to start over either, it just wrestles control from you and starts over.  This almost always results in screamed obscenities and shaken fists in the air at no one in particular.

It always seems to make puzzle games more fun when you can use new and exciting ways to curse at the game and The Splatters is no exception.  I’m not sure if it actually improves my playing, but a nicely placed “f bomb” seems to improve my accuracy in the next round.  It also insures that I can only play when the baby is sleeping or I run the risk of her saying, “Effing Spwatter” in the most adorable way imaginable.

The Splatters is the kind of game that I am always thinking about.  It is one of those games that once I turned the console off, I never stopped playing in my mind.  I was analyzing that last level that I was stuck on, wondering what I could do differently to get past and move on to the next challenge.  Even now as I type this, I would rather be in the other room, improving my scores and uploading videos of my triumph online.

I only wish that there was some way to include the salty language I had to use to achieve such results.

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Author: Wallace Phelps View all posts by

11 Comments on "The Splatters"

  1. Sean April 16, 2012 at 1:53 pm - Reply

    That does look fun. Out of curiosity (it doesn’t apply to this one since it’s a high score and all, but) do you use a 1-10 with 7 being decent (much like the American academic system in which 70% is average) or 5 being average (because it’s midway between 1-10)?

  2. Wallace Phelps April 16, 2012 at 3:25 pm - Reply

    I can only speak for myself, but I rate on the basis of 5 being an average score. I don’t think there is enough wiggle room to score a decent game only from 7-10. There needs to be room for grey area.

  3. Marcia Webb April 19, 2012 at 1:37 pm - Reply

    I like this, good write up!

  4. Craig Kandiko July 10, 2012 at 1:19 pm - Reply

    I love how you have frustration as 10/10 LOL

  5. Antarael Dulacre July 10, 2012 at 1:25 pm - Reply

    Nice review =) Game looks so much fun!

  6. Modulok July 10, 2012 at 1:54 pm - Reply

    I like how it has that obviously easy solution to every puzzle but limited to a stupid f&£king joypad and ridiculous b#$t%rd fingers. Gwaaaarggh!

  7. Peter July 10, 2012 at 2:15 pm - Reply

    Sound’s like a lot of fun!

  8. Jen July 10, 2012 at 2:29 pm - Reply

    frustration-10/10 haha. nice! It looks/sounds fun=]

  9. SickNdehed July 10, 2012 at 7:01 pm - Reply

    Ok. Seriously want to play this now. It looks like tons of fun!

  10. Bramblefang July 10, 2012 at 7:03 pm - Reply

    Looks really fun. The idea is pretty innovative as well.

  11. Ryan Valz July 10, 2012 at 11:02 pm - Reply

    coolness X2

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