I know many gamers don’t get The Splatters until after their third Doritos Locos Taco, but thankfully the new XBLA downloadable title of the same name is much more fun… and much less messy.
Developed by SpikySnail Games, The Splatters is a new action puzzle title that lets players fling the aptly named amiable blobs of goo known as “Splatters” around the screen using physic-bending gameplay for an undeniably fun time. As the levels progress, so do your special abilities – and then things get really interesting.
There’s a bit of a learning curve when it comes to controlling the smiling blobs in The Splatters, but the goal of each level is simple – use your available blobs (splats? skeets?) to coat and destroy the “bombs” on-screen that resemble neon salmon roe. Even with a sample shot shown to you at the start of each level, launching a splatter in the same direction after multiple tries on a map can net you different results. Your shots are limited each round, and multiple bonuses are awarded for trick shots and counterintuitive flings into spike traps that leave your gooey entrails dripping all over a stage.
Once you let your splatter fly, the game’s physics engine takes over and sends your mess careening along curved walls and into danger – until you employ one of your unlocked skills. There are double jumps and aimed shots that change the trajectory of your splatter mid-flight, and a rewind ability that alters time itself in an effort to help you coat every last bomb on screen with your goo. Some of the shots you’re expected to make are quite tricky to execute at first, but are oh-so-satisfying when you get them on your 7th or 15th try.
Aside from rehashing a couple of maps, The Splatters was a thoroughly enjoyable XBLA gaming experience. As a casual gamer with only limited time to enjoy a title each day, I can appreciate the level of fun that was reached from playing such a simple yet strategic and aesthetically vibrant game. What The Splatters lacks in depth it makes up for in charm and replayability, ultimately rewarding gamers with Avatar awards and clips caught through the in-game feature known as Splatter TV to show off your best moves to friends online. The Splatters is a quirky title for sure, but way too much fun and addictive to pass up.
The Splatters is available on Xbox Live Arcade beginning April 11th for 800 Microsoft points.