When you hear the words “The Splatters” you’d be forgiven for thinking I’m referring to the results of an ill-advised night of boozing followed by way too much Taco Bell. Fortunately, that’s not what I mean. I am talking, instead, about the new XBLA puzzler from SpikySnail Games.
It’s a tough game to describe, but there is one word that sums it all up – fun.
The closest I can come to summing up The Splatters is to call it a cross between Angry Birds and World of Goo. But unlike Angry Birds, The Splatters is actually interesting and creative, and unlike World of Goo, the objective is to destroy, not build. Each level places a certain number of sentient blobs (Splatters) in strategic locations. Also scattered around each level are little bomb blobs, and the goal is to use the Splatters to destroy all the bombs and look stylish in the process.
The way it works is that you’ll select a Splatter, aim it in the desired direction, then launch it, covering as many of the little bombs as possible. Once covered with goo, they will explode in a colorful chain reaction. When all the bombs are gone, the level ends. You can also rebound a Splatter off of a wall and redirect it toward more bombs for maximum destruction and stylishness. The mechanics of it are simple and easy to grasp, but difficult to master. During my hands-on session, I found myself replaying levels just to see if I could do it more efficiently and stylishly.
The Splatters makes good use of physics, particularly where liquid is concerned. When a Splatter, well, splatters, the resulting goo shower spreads out pretty much the way you would expect. I was told the game also contains a mechanic that can be used to reverse the direction of the goo, but I didn’t get a chance to see it.
And that’s basically it. You wouldn’t know it by watching trailers of the game, but The Splatters really is as simple as it is compelling and unique. I’m always on the lookout for a good physics puzzler, and The Splatters is one of the more intriguing puzzlers I’ve played in a while. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing just how crazy it gets when The Splatters makes a mess of Xbox Live Arcade in 2012.