Splasher caught my eye a few weeks back thanks to its eye popping 2D visuals and mash up of elements from Portal 2 and traditional, fast paced platforming. Playing it kind of confirmed that, but also added an element that screenshots and trailers simply can’t really convey – speed. Splasher, in that sense, is a little more reminiscent of Super Meat Boy then. A challenging platformer where speed is key, and one where each level only lends itself to the pace at which you’re charging forward.
That’s the feeling I got after playing through the first few levels of this new PC puzzle platformer (which is also coming to PS4 and Xbox One). Splasher combines the gel elements from Portal 2 in a less controllable way, painting stages in all sorts of colours that have you sticking to surfaces, bouncing around and more. In combination with a platforming system that gives you immense jump heights and bullet fast-moving speed, and you have a package that demands precision, timing and attention at all times.
Super Meat Boy was incredulous for its tight, difficult level design, and Splasher borrows many elements from that. Stages aren’t bite-sized but just as expertly crafted, ensuring that momentum is always maintained even on your first playthroughs. Death comes thick and fast too, especially so if you’re looking to save the little collectible scientists along the way. But just like Super Meat Boy death is part of the experience, and the game’s quick reload to a checkpoint never takes you out of the action for long at all.
The opening levels did a good job of setting the stage for far more complex puzzles, and I assume even more gels will be introduced into the fold to mess with the combinations I have already. And even if it’s not the gruellingly difficult romp I was expecting, Splasher has already won me over with its tight platforming and alluring design. And it just makes me want to get back to the rest of it right away.