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The Splatters Review

KevinS By:
GENRE Action 
PUBLISHER Microsoft Game Studios 
E Contains Mild Fantasy Violence

What do these ratings mean?

Today is a dirty way to die.

The Splatters is an interesting one, a physics-based puzzle game featuring blobs of sentient goo flying around trying to blow up bombs. It always makes me wonder how people get ideas for games, but I figure it's a process either I may never quite understand or I can't handle the drug load necessary to think something that odd is "a good idea". Not to imply they're actually doing drugs, but I can't understand how this comes to be a thing otherwise.

That said, it's a surprising amount of fun and challenge for the 800 points. In a style reminiscent of Worms, players have a small handful of special "stunts" to choose from: re-direction, power shots, rewinding to reverse direction, and a few other skills to buff out their slimy repertoire. And how do the bombs explode exactly? By splattering the conscious goos all over them like a liquid trigger! The more I think about it, the more grossed out I find myself. *shudder*

The puzzles range from easy one-stunt plans to some tricky, slippery craziness. Controlling is simple and easy to figure out, along with a tutorial mode that's very clear in helping grab the essentials. This is an example of pure gameplay for the sake of gameplay; if a mistake is made, it's obviously the fault of the player and not the game itself. Each stage is filled with loops, spikes, and crevices to aim for (and even lose a stray bomb into). Get ready, you masochists, you!

It's an interesting visual, somewhere between traditional animation and claymation in appearance. The whole thing looks almost akin to a pop-up book or maybe a board game with some raised bits and pieces. The Splatters themselves are like adorable little gelatin molds being shot around the stages and exploding on queue (or on spikes, whatever helps with exploding). When the goo has already popped and it's flying like a kid down a water slide, it looks really great and flows super-smoothly over the platforms.

With most puzzles being filled with Splatters to toss around, I'm a little surprised there's no way to play with a friend; I could see co-op missions being a lot of fun, whether played concurrently or one player moving at a time. There are high score boards, but that's just never the same.

That gripe aside, for a simplistic puzzle game for such a low price I can't find much of anything wrong with The Splatters. The control is tight, it looks great, contains a significant number of puzzles, and it's light on bells and whistles. It's everything to expect from the price point but is definitely an amusing way to spend a few minutes at a time, not meant to suck hours and hours into. It's splattery, just not sticky.

Code provided by publisher.
The Splatters
  • Control is tight
  • Game is pretty
  • Steady difficulty level
  • Very affordable
  • No multiplayer
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