Developer RAC7 Games, creators of audio adventure Dark Echo, are releasing a significantly different experience on iOS next week. Their upcoming puzzler, Splitter Critters, is a colorful, playful construction paper world which challenges players to guide alien critters back to their waiting spaceships. While the levels seem simple at first glance, the mechanic used to achieve this goal creates an endless set of possible outcomes: players will literally split and slide the stages, rearranging the world itself to open the path from critter to ship.
This idea was initially devised for Ludum Dare 35, a 72-hour game jam in April of 2016 with the theme of “Shapeshift,” where the game earned high scores in Innovation, Fun, and Theme, and took home second place in the Overall category. RAC7 submitted a further polished version of the game to the Big Indie Pitch in July, scoring stellar marks yet again and another silver medal. Prototype players and judges (including Gamezebo’s own editor and BIP panelist, Jim Squires) have already confirmed the innovation and fun of the world-shifting mechanic, and soon mobile gamers will have a chance to experience it for themselves.
Although the most basic stages will have you merely cutting the world into two pieces and sliding them together to form a land bridge for the ever-wandering critters, the game promises a wide variety of hazards and approaches to keep the already-novel mechanic interesting. Different types of critters will have different movement speeds and styles; patrolling enemies will have to be dodged; environmental obstacles like water and lasers will have to be swum or manipulated. While we expect levels to become tricky quickly, the slicing and sliding mechanic is always straightforward and the undo option lets you back up one slice at a time to easily try out as many paths as you please.
Splitter Critters will launch on iOS next week with Android and Steam following shortly thereafter. If you’re too curious to wait, the initial Ludum Dare version of the game can be played in your browser at this link.