Splash Cars is an odd mixture of wacky racing, survival, and painting that makes me happy – most of the time. Iâ€™ve enjoyed playing it, and will continue to do so, but that energy timer gets in the way a lot more than Iâ€™d like.
Each level in Splash Cars is a grey canvas thatâ€™s desperately in need of some color, and itâ€™s up to you to give it a touch up. All you have to do is drive around and your car will automatically leave a colorful wake behind it, but youâ€™ll want to concentrate on avoiding major collisions while also keeping your gas reserves up or else your run will end prematurely. Though damage isnâ€™t anywhere near as big a concern as running out of fuel.
Driving around a simple 3D environment that becomes increasingly more colorful, hunting down gas canisters, grabbing power-ups, and avoiding police cars is great. Itâ€™s a lot of fun to skillfully weave between houses and watch them both suddenly shed their grey in favor of a much more vibrant palette, and itâ€™s not even that bothersome when a mistimed turn results in a momentum-halting collision with a tree.
Thereâ€™s also a progression system thatâ€™s tied to regular play activities (such as driving for so many collective meters) that will incrementally give you extra bonuses like a slightly increased paint spread, which goes a long way towards softening the blow of a failed run. Itâ€™s a shame thereâ€™s no Retry button, though. I usually want to jump back into a level if I miss the third star, but I have to go back to the main map screen and re-select it instead, which is just a little irksome.
Iâ€™m also not all that excited about Splash Carsâ€™ free-to-play elements. I donâ€™t mind the inclusion of ads or even the energy timer (a.k.a battery power), but the timer wonâ€™t take long to run out – at least not until youâ€™ve managed to earn a few extra battery slots. But even that I can work around. What I donâ€™t much care for is how that battery meter doesnâ€™t ever go away, even after paying to remove ads. At least you can spend coins or watch a video to refill battery power, which is nice I guess, since you donâ€™t necessarily have to cough up real money.
If it seems like Iâ€™m being too negative about Splash Carsâ€™ monetization, itâ€™s only because Iâ€™ve been having so much fun with it. I think itâ€™s well worth playing, but I also think the in-app purchase stuff could definitely use some work.