Splash or Crash has just hit the eShop in Europe and Australia and for some reason this is another game Nintendo of Europe and America could not agree on. Determined not to make a recognisable franchise out of this, they’ve given it separate names to confuse people around the world (much like Pullblox / Pushmo / Fallblox / Crashmo). It’s $3.90 AU so I bought it not expecting too much, and I still found it underwhelming. You control a stone that drops down a well and the goal is to avoid obstacles and fall to the bottom as fast as possible, like a failing third party publisher grabbing for an excuse.
It’s controlled with the circle pad and quite frankly the 3DS circle pad isn’t good enough for this game, the adjustments are too slow and sloppy and the touch screen would have felt more appropriate. It only has 10 different wells to fall down, so it’s primarily about improving your scores. The problem is the level design is too bland to memorise and a perfect run is almost impossible. It’s so bland that it took me a while to figure out whether or not the levels are randomly generated (they aren’t). Some later levels have cool background effects with lava and all sorts of different objects blocking the way. Blocks of wood, pieces of pizza and cannonballs make for some interesting 3D “moments” and framerate dips. The worst being “fake rings”; rings are there to give you a speed boost but some are actually just platforms with a hole drawn on them to fool you. A clever idea but it’s pretty much impossible to tell the difference between these and the REAL ones, so all it really comes down to is trial-and-error design.
It’s a cheap game but budget isn’t the reason it’s bad, it’s simply uninspired and not worth bothering with. The controls are annoying, the graphics struggle, the gameplay is unbalanced and the same generic techno song loops in every level. The coolest aspect is the different objects you can choose to pilot down the well, but even those are broken. I can’t even beat the first level with the “drop” that disintegrates on first impact. It’s definitely not an 8 / 10 which quite frankly is fucking bullshit and an insult to everything else on the eShop. On that note, if you rate something on the eShop please think about what you’re doing. I noticed that almost every game on there has at least 4 stars which makes the ratings meaningless.
Here’s the same concept with proper controls and some actual design. I usually love going for high scores which you can see if you have Nano Assault Neo, but I’m already sick of Splash or Crash. It’s not a horrible game but it does nothing to stand out.