STAFF REVIEW of Splasher (Xbox One)


Thursday, October 19, 2017.
by Chad Goodmurphy

Splasher Box art With so many games releasing each and every month, it’s hard for every standout title to receive the recognition it deserves, especially if it comes from the realm of indie gaming. Every so often indies hit it big and become the talk of the town, or industry if you’d prefer, but just as many others fail to receive the buzz that their quality suggests they should though, which can be sad.

What’s worrying is that Splasher, from SplashTeam, Playdius and Plug In Digital, could end up becoming one such title. Here’s hoping that won’t end up being the case though, because this is one title that deserves a lot of recognition.

After first coming to life on Steam, Splasher has now made its way to the Xbox One, with an in-development Nintendo Switch version having yet to be released. It comes with lots of promise too, with colourful visuals, a zany attitude, and gameplay that looks to mix at least two of platforming’s best and brightest together. What’s great then, is that the game actually lives up to said promise, and stands out as being one of the better platformers in recent memory.

Fans of Super Meat Boy will like this one, because it’s very similar in a lot of respects. However, unlike that nefariously difficult, and often sadistic experience, is that this one isn’t so hard on its players. The result is a game that is challenging, but never unfair, while rewarding those who go out of their way in an attempt to achieve 100% completion.


Each of Splasher’s 22 levels is both a speed run challenge and a test of one’s platforming skills, with time trials available for those who’d really like to see how they stack up. With punny and comedic names like Water is Coming and Rayman Origin, they’re all challenging, but fair, and walk the line that runs between the two. That’s not to say that you won’t die, because you will do so a lot, unless you’re someone who’s an absolute master when it comes to these types of games. Even then, you’ll still perish the odd time, because even though Splasher’s mechanics are very solid and present a lot of polish, they aren’t always perfect and sometimes end up failing you.

Such can be the case with this type of platformer, however, and it’s tough to be perfect all the time.

The general idea here is that you’re an everyman – a hero who’s taken up arms (or ink, as is the case here) in an attempt to stop the madness at the place you call work. That is Inkorp, an ink plant that is hiding a terrible secret. One that involves a maniacal asshat using technology and available resources to make heinous super soldiers behind closed doors.

With Inkorp’s oddly set-up lobby acting as a level select hub that is itself full of platforming, your goal is to unlock each door and complete all of the levels that lay behind them. This isn’t accomplished by mere progression, and is actually predicated upon the amount of collectibles you find as you go through each stage. By that, I mean human beings who used to work at the factory before things went haywire, and who have found themselves trapped in ink or locked in cages.


In order to get through each level’s twisted menagerie of platforms, walls, saws, enemies, poison, and water, you’ll need to use your wits and think ahead. Speed is good, but staying alive is the most important thing, and you’ll need to use what’s at your disposal in order to remain with the living. What’s good though is that most checkpoints are pretty fair, even if there are some that will send you back a decent ways upon dying.

After seeing what was happening behind closed doors, our unnamed hero grabs a tool and is able to use it to his advantage in his attempt to escape and right the aforementioned wrongs. He does this by either spraying water or shooting ink, both of which play important roles. Water, you see, can damage enemies, turn turbines (that move or open platforms) and help you collect the golden ink that litters each stage. Red ink, on the other hand, can slow enemies to a crawl, and can also be used to stick oneself to walls and ceilings.

A lot of the game is made up of using ink and water to get from point A to point B, while trying to save as many workers, and collect as much gold ink, as you can. The developers throw quite a bit at you though, including lasers, saws, poison, and enemies that can both fly and run. There are even portals that can be entered, wherein challenge rooms await, their prizes being human collectibles.

What’s neat, in an homage to Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater kind of way, is that each level only has enough trapped workers to spell the word Splash! As you save them, they’ll form the word on the top left part of the screen, and will help you keep track of how many you’ve found and how many are left. The exclamation point is important too, because it’s always made up by one final worker, who’s been trapped at the end of each stage. To free him, you must collect 700 points worth of golden ink, then deposit it into the trap that is holding him hostage.


Splasher is as fun, polished and well made as it is colourful, with very cartoony visuals complementing its zany action. Things look hand drawn, and both the environments and their enemies really pop off the screen. This is saying a lot, considering that the game takes place within a factory, which is mostly made up of metallic walls and floors, with wire grates providing accents. Then again, the enemies, the water, the ink and the poison that fills them all act as colourful accents too.

There isn’t much in the way of audio, outside of some frantic music and the sound effects that result from your actions. There’s lots of personality in just those tunes and noises though, which is fitting within what is already a very colourful game.

Needless to say, Splasher is a must play for any platforming fan. Although it’s not all that long, coming in at maybe a few hours in length, with deaths making up a lot of that, it’s very well made and stands out for many reasons, and with this in mind it is very easy to recommend.




Overall: 8.2 / 10
Gameplay: 8.7 / 10
Visuals: 8.4 / 10
Sound: 7.6 / 10

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