Super Splatters Review

A must-play, updated port of the gooiest game on Xbox LIVE Arcade.

The Splatters: an adorable race of chicken nugget-shaped goo globs that crave fame and followers far exceeding their humble beginnings.  As naturals in the art of creative splattering, their best bet for achieving stardom is through Splatter TV, the viral sensation that highlights the most talented Splatters as they perform self-exploding stunts in front of a live audience.  Only the most splattastic among them will become Super Splatters, and it’s your job to help those starry-eyed, toothy-grinned blobs make it.

Just beyond their lumpy, chewed-up gum-exterior, Splatters are filled with delicious, gooey ooze.  This ooze causes a chemical reaction with fireworks pods that makes them explode once coated.  The main goal of Super Splatters is to explode all of the pods scattered around each Splatter TV set by breaking apart your Splatters and flinging, dripping, or splashing ooze upon them.

Super Splatters

While explosions are great fan-fodder, the big league Splatters know how to blow up pods with style.  This means performing stunts before and during the oozing process and showing off as much as possible.  Each Splatter TV set is filled with obstacles, slides, spikes, and more that can be used to bounce, slam, or squish your Splatters during their performance.  Super Splatters is a physics-based puzzler, and the physics of Splatters is: they jump high, fly fast, and splatter tremendously.

As your Splatters train to become bigger stars, they’ll learn a variety of stunts that can be used to make getting from point A to point pod-explosion extra scintillating.  Some stunts are used primarily for showmanship, like the “rainy day,” which is earned by breaking your Splatter on a set of spikes and then drizzling onto pods below.  Others, like the “air-strike,” are both elegant and efficient methods of hitting hard-to-reach pods, allowing Splatters to jump one way and then kamikaze in an entirely new direction mid-air.  The most-used stunt (or really mechanic), “flip,” reverses the momentum of any currently moving objects and allows both Splatters and pods to quickly change direction almost indefinitely.  While some stages are designed to encourage certain stunts over others, like the “slide”-happy, loop-heavy Big Bowl, every stunt is integrated seamlessly into both the controls and completion of goals, allowing for a wide variety of ways to approach each stage.

Super Splatters

While this technically gives the freedom to splatter as you choose, every stage of Super Splatters features four different game types that contribute to your overall progress, each with their own rule set.  Training levels introduce new stunts and challenges, explained by a feisty Mr. Miyagi-type Splatter with an adorable sense of humor.  Freestyle levels are exactly that: blow up the pods any way you like, so long as you don’t run out of Splatters.  Master Shots levels require you to use a certain set of stunts—in addition to any others you’d like—to blow up all the pods on stage.  These usually turn into mostly mental challenges as you try to figure out the best way to chain a “slide,” “air-strike,” and “ballistic” before blowing up one set of pods.  Finally, the Combo Rush levels mimic Freestyle but with a twist: your performance is dependent upon the “combo meter” which tracks how many stunts you’ve done in a short period of time and will reset if you give the Splatters too long of a breather. 

Although each level type generally has the same goal—blow up pods while performing as many stunts as possible—they do feature vastly different paces that provide a great sense of variation in a genre that always risks repetition.  This is also aided by the three different sets of challenges present in every individual level: viewership, star rating, and trophies.  Viewership covers how many Splatter fans tuned into your performance and equates to your overall score.  The star rating, out of three, is earned by completing goals specific to the level; this may involve reaching a certain viewership or completing a minimum number of stunts.  Three trophies are also available for every round, usually challenging players to more difficult or precise goals, like completing the level without starting over or having every Splatter perform a specific stunt.

All of these challenges and variations on stages provide plenty of replay value and finger-flexing reasons for just “one more” attempt at each.  Although the basis for success in any level of Super Splatters is thoughtful planning, there is still a need for speedy and accurate execution of each stunt and action in order to actually hit those targets.  The brilliantly helpful “real life” Splatter TV provides videos both for bragging rights and benefit to players stuck on a level.  You may be sure that a slide-fling-air-strike combo is ideal for a situation, but when exactly should you pull the trigger on the air-strike?  Other players on Splatter TV have the answer.

Super Splatters

Everything Super Splatters throws at you encourages an enthusiastic “More, please!” but at times there is almost too much going on both in-game and out.  Splatter juice sometimes obscures important notifications, like the blue arrow that appears to alert you to a short window of opportunity to re-shoot your Splatter.  Differentiating between bombs that have been activated and those that have not can be a guessing game since they turn yellow when activated but still flash yellow when inactive.  Available stages are spread out between worlds and open up somewhat randomly, forcing backtracking and check-ins to see if past levels have unlocked yet.

Then again, every time you have to replay a level or retread through the menu, you get to experience more adorable smiles and Tribble-like purrs of the Splatters, so it’s not always a negative.  Even with the occasional, inevitable physics-based rage-burst of missed shots, it’s impossible to get mad at Super Splatters.  They ooze joy.

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