Splasher is a game where you play as a kid with colorful hair, running around shooting ink on the floor and walls. This might sound a bit like Splatoon, but that brief description is where the similarities end. Read on to find out whether or not you should enter the Splash Zone.
Splasher takes place in and around the Inkorp factory, and it’s up to the hero to save his fellow workers from Le Docteur. The plot is pretty nonsensical, but the brief animations before certain levels with the villain flipping off the hero are a clear reference to one of the game’s inspirations: Super Meat Boy. Yes, you’ll be playing as a small character jumping through huge stages to rescue people here. But Splasher has a unique style of its own, and some interesting gameplay ideas that shake things up.
You’ll start out with no abilities besides running and jumping, but eventually you’ll get the ability to shoot several types of liquids, including water, Stickink, and Bouncink. The red Stickink slows you down on vertical surfaces, but it allows you to run up walls and across ceilings. The Bouncink on the other is extremely bouncy and helps you reach high places. Shooting water lets you remove ink from surfaces. These mechanics all interact differently with enemies, and often have to combined in creative ways.
The game’s 22 stages are all well designed. Each introduces new mechanics including new enemies, wind, or lasers. Sometimes you’ll be fighting your way through cars of a train, or escaping a rising pool of action. The majority of time is spent simply running through the factory, but the game is always trying something new, or using its elements in new ways. Each level has 7 Inkorp employees to rescue, and also has portals to separate “quarantine zones,” or single-room challenges where you have to defeat all the enemies to rescue one of the aforementioned employees.
And once you’ve cleared the main game, it’s time to go back for more. Each level has time trials, and there are 3 different “Speedrun” modes built in to the game. Whether you want to go for a completionist or any% run, Splasher has your back. Trying to beat your best times is a fun and addicting way to extend the game’s longevity for both casual fans and speedrun enthusiasts, and it really highlights just how good the level design is. Each stage works great whether you’re going for speed, or taking the slow and steady approach.
The game has a bold aesthetic, with solid black lines and bright colors. The color design here is fantastic, with contrasting and visually appealing color schemes. The game’s soundtrack is not to my personal taste, but it’s well done and fitting to the game’s environments. You can listen to the game’s soundtrack on YouTube here, and judge for yourself.
Splasher is a fantastic 2D platformer in the vein of Super Meat Boy. The difficulty is punishing, but not as frustrating as other games. The level design, gameplay, and tight physics work together to create a polished platformer that any fan of the genre should pick up right away.
- Fun, tight platforming with a speedrun twist
- Perfect difficulty, challenging but not rage-inducing
- Bold visual style
- Never quite reaches Super Meat Boy level quality
SOUP VERDICT: Would you like the BouncySoup or StickySoup?
A review code was provided by Playdius for the purposes of this review.