The Splatters Review (Xbox 360)
The Splatters isn’t just a clever name, as it’s the very definition of the game. Spikysnail wants you to indulge in the mass murder of hundreds of willing participants and they want you to end their lives in the most inventive, acrobatic and messy way possible, all in the name of entertainment. The Splatters is just that; entertaining.
Splatters are gelatinous creatures who love nothing more than to explode in a huge puddle of gloop, all for our entertainment. They’ll perform impossible aerial stunts, before plunging themselves headlong into spikes and detonating bombs around the arena. It’s a puzzle game where forward thinking and fast reactions rack up points and chain combos, but you’re always looking for the same end result; a gloopy explosion.
It’s a simple premise that takes some getting used to. The action occurs on one screen and you have to fling the Splatters at the “bombs” on screen, and destroy them all in order to progress. The bombs are colour co-ordinated, so if you run out of Splatters of the corresponding colour, its back to the start again.
The first available mode is Become a Talent, and it takes the player through the basics of the game, providing tutorials to copy and challenges to test what they have learnt. The difficulty curve is gentle enough if you’re capable of keeping up with the mechanics, as there are some abilities that allow the player to reverse time and basically mess with gravity. It’s hard to master, but ultimately fulfilling when you do.
Using the environment to launch your colourful companions round slopes, will add a multiplier to your score and combining this with spikes in the environment, further boosts your score. Misjudging one of these moves could potentially leave you Splatter-less, so thinking ahead is always key.
The game doesn’t solely revolve around using the environment though, and avoiding it is often the best option. Using Air-Strike, the player can alter the direction of their airborne Splatter allowing them make necessary U-Turns and to react to imminent disaster. An after touch effect can be used to redirect the exploded Splatter, to cover a larger area and other bombs, and a quick double-tap to use Ballistic and your day-glow minion becomes a fast moving missile of slime.
Despite the fact that the mechanics are quite easy to pick up, the challenges the game sets after becoming a talent up the ante in every way, forcing you to think carefully about how to use one Splatter to perform the required special moves, or how quickly you can chain a series of combos together.
Combonation challenges the player to link as many tricks together to create one flowing combo through each level to attain three stars, whereas Master Shots requires the player to perform each of the required special moves, and complete the level, with only one Splatter. Both are tricky and very addictive.
Chasing the leaderboards is at the forefront of the game, so beating your friends is the main draw in replaying levels. There are over 60 levels in total, and while it may not seem like a lot, there’s plenty to keep you going. Once it’s complete though, there’s little to bring the player back other than creating the best video compilations for Splatter TV which can be shared with the world via the game.
While The Splatters may suffer from an issue of longevity, this is issue is superseded by the great deal of fun to be had in the levels provided. It’s colourful, vibrant and often funny, and it’s a welcoming title that can keep you entertained for hours. It’s one of the most entertaining arcade titles this year, and there’s no reason you should pass on it. Life’s too short, so die with style.
The Splatters Review (Xbox 360),