It’s not often I look forward to twitch platformers. You can thank Super Meat Boy, the impossible jumping therein, and my lack of patience for doing the same thing more than fifty times. However, the wonderful Ninja Pizza Girl I reviewed last year got me back on track with side-scrollers. Shortly after I interviewed the main guy behind the game you’re currently reading the review to. I discovered Splasher had some serious talent behind it and even reminded me of Fancy Pants Adventures. (Shout out to anyone who’s played that obscure game.) So as it finally came out for consoles you know I would be the one reviewing it. How does it fare with a person who has a mixed history with the genre? Surprisingly well and a strong recommendation on the other side.
Splasher places us in the shoes of a worker at Inkorp. While doing some mundane cleaning in the giant factory, he discovers some less than ethical things being performed by the company’s president. In typical fashion he becomes public enemy number one thanks to his knowledge while rescuing other workers from a gruesome fate. You do this by completing levels in various parts of the business and avoiding enemies, traps, and other obstacles. Or you can spend your time annoying the NPC in your hub area for minutes on end like I did. Trust me the gameplay is fun enough that you’ll enjoy whatever it is you’re doing.
Gameplay might as well be Splasher’s middle name because it has some of the best platforming in gaming, twitch inspired or not. Our hero starts off with basic abilities like running and jumping and quickly gets a water cannon that can shoot drops of water. Not only will this allow you to collect special paint (the currency in this game) and kill minor enemies, but alter other paints and objects in the world. This won’t protect you from buzzing saws and toxic slime though. That’s left up to your platforming skills.
As the game progresses you’ll acquire some other paint guns. Most notably the red sticky and yellow bouncy paint respectively. The former allows you to stick to non-sleek walls and the latter is pretty self-explanatory with its bounciness. Of the twenty plus levels, these two paints will pop up again and again, always ready to help or hinder you near death traps. While that may seem like it can be severely frustrating I can tell you that Splasher is far from it. Things are mixed up just enough that any challenge you come across will be fun and entertaining over repetitive and aggravating.
That’s another area that Splasher really shines: level design. Most of the levels will vary in some way that always keep you on your toes. For example, one section of a level might have you timing jumps on yellow paint and the very next checkpoint will have you slickly running up walls while dodging saws. Some places even have their own shtick like a constant blowing breeze that pushes you forward if you’re not sticking to something with the red paint. Point being your entire arsenal will be used constantly in tandem with the amazing platforming. Plus, the checkpoints are pretty gracious and any anger I would have had were mitigated. So keep in mind this title focuses on fun more than anything else.
Astounding level design and gameplay can only come together like I’ve mentioned if the controls are incorporated correctly. Let me tell you that they are perfect for Splashteam’s baby. When I first started playing and died right away because I overshot a jump, I knew the controls were sensitive and tight. Giggity. It didn’t take long to get acclimated as running, jumping, and timing in general were expertly designed and movement is just incredibly smooth. Unlike some other twitch platformers with loose controls that would cause great irritation. There were only a few times where I felt I was robbed in relation to platforming.
Splasher also offers a speedrun mode for you time addicts and a “selfish” playthrough after you beat the game. Collectibles in this game consist of other workers you must reach or free from a portal room and get enough special paint to get the last acquaintance at the end of each level. As you can probably guess this means you complete the game/levels without recusing a single one. So in some small way you can be a hero or a man who only cares about himself. Lastly, the sights and sounds of Splasher are delightful. The tunes are upbeat and the colorful presentation matches nicely with the title’s gameplay.
Splasher PS4 Review
There’s no other way to say it. Splasher is my new favorite twitch platformer. A genre I previously loathed. The game manages to be above all fun regardless of the challenges and unique situations you'll find yourself in. This is some of the best crafted gameplay one can experience thanks to the level design and controls. If you love anything related to platforming, side-scrolling, and reflexes, my recommendation is that you buy this game.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a digital copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Reviewed using base PS4.