Horrifying experimentation. Death-defying leaps of faith. Buzzsaws of DEATH. These are the challenges that await you in “Splasher”, a new platformer available now on Steam from SplashTeam. The best way that I can describe this game is if Splatoon, Portal, and Super Meat Boy had some crazy love triangle baby….this would be the end result and it totally works. Get ready to test your precision, speed, and timing in this crazy run through Inkorp.
The story for “Splasher” is minimal at best, but it merely gives you purpose and honestly, you don’t need anything else to enjoy this game. You take control of our young hero, a Splasher, who is part of the janitorial staff at Inkorp. Discovering that the evil, no…NEFARIOUS, factory boss Docteur is doing unspeakable things to your fellow Splashers, it’s up to you to stop him. Taking up arms with your splatter cannon, you are off to save the day. Again, a simple setup that provides all you need to enjoy some platforming action.
Now to the core of what “Splasher” has to offer, its gameplay. The splatter cannon grants our hero special abilities, reacting to the various ink found within Inkorp. The initial function, spraying water, allows you to wash the ink away from surfaces, think of F.L.U.D.D. in Mario Sunshine. It’s the basic ability and one which you will first utilize. Slowly the game introduces a red Stickink, which allows you stick to and walk along surfaces. Master this and soon you will come across Bouncink, a yellow substance that lets you ricochet great distances. This is what “Splasher” ask you to do, utilize these abilities to safely navigate each section while attempting to save your fellow Splashers scattered across each level. This may sound easy and heck, it was easy at first, but just like Meat Boy, the difficulty gets extreme.
Regardless, it was a blast soaring across each stage, dodging obstacles and getting myself killed over and over during the process. Even when repeatedly failing to reach the next checkpoint (yes, this game has a checkpoint system, you’ll need it) I had a smile on my face. Oddly enough, the best strategy was often to go as fast as possible to survive the next obstacle. You’ll definitely see the influence speedrunners had on this games development, heck, there are even specific modes tailored to this exact type of game. I would love to see this played at a future AGDQ event or something similar!
I should also add that the game controls great, very fluid and responsive. I never once could blame the controls or physics for an untimely death, simply human error. A must for a game of this style and calibre.
Graphics & Presentation
“Splasher” has a great hand-drawn look that harkens back to the days of flash games on Newgrounds, personally I loved it. The music is great and provides a pumping soundtrack to keep you going. The colours are vivid and the different ink styles really popped against the backdrop. It’s simple and honestly, that’s all you would want for a game of this focus. Anything else would tend to muddy up the play space and make things harder on the actual player.
Each level is connected by an overworld section of Inkcorp that will have you back tracking and criss-crossing over your previous route. Honestly, I did not care for this setup. I wanted to get back into the action as quick as possible, right onto that next stage. Unfortunately, I would have to spend some time traveling to the opposite side of the staging area to locate the newly unlocked level. The time attack or speed run modes likely remove this issue, but I did not spend any times specifically within those modes.
“Splasher” is a fun game. I wasn’t sure what to expect and was treated to a great platforming challenge. While I would like to see a bit more variety in the level design, perhaps a few more “chase” sequences or maybe some sort of “boss encounter”, the constant taunting of that jerk Docteur kept me going. I definitely want to check out some of the pros speedrunning this title and I want you to give it a run as well.Splatter cannons up!
Look for it soon on Xbox and PS4!
+Gameplay -Level Variety