Format PSVITA ( Digital Download ) By: Julian Roberts @BurnTheBuddha
Spiral Splatter is a small, simple, casual puzzle game. Something suited for a mobile phone, so don’t expect any surprises here. That is not to say that title is garbage however, it is made decently enough for what it is. Quick, pick-up-and-play gameplay is best experienced on a pick-up-and-play device, such as the Vita. The simplistic presentation reminds me of back in the day, when in high school computer classes, playing simple flash games similar to this, rather than doing my work. Who really needs to learn how to use Microsoft Excel anyway?
Gameplay and Design
The object of the game is to move your little white dot through a maze, to the end goal. Touching any of the walls or obstacles kills you, and nets you back at the starting line, or the checkpoint that some stages have. You can move your dot with the analog stick and also speed up your the movement of your dot with the X button. This faster speed comes at reduced control of your dot however, so adjust it’s use accordingly. It isn’t as if you can go through the game and get perfect, three star ratings without using the faster speed however. There is a timer at the top right of the screen showing you what rating you will end up with by the time you hit the goal. In order to hit certain goals in time, speeding up is necessary. This adds challenge to a lot of stages because hairpin turns, and loop-dee-loops are very tricky to maneuver this way.
Stages start out rather quick and painless at first, as you would expect. Plenty being completed with a three star rating in a matter of a second or two. After you burn through the levels you can finish with your eyes closed, you get into some rather tricky loops and obstacles. Electric fences make an appearance allowing for more clever thinking as you must flip the switch to flip off (and sometimes on) these fences in order to reach the goal. Pressing switches and maneuvering mazes, coupled with the ticking clock, can make for some intense moments in some stages, often causing you to want to go back and try for the three star rating even if you already passed the stage. Being able to go back and play any previous stage is a plus as you can come back to something later if you need to for those of you wanting to 100% the game.
As stated earlier, the presentation is real straightforward and simple in design. Basic shapes and colored backgrounds give sort of a late ‘90’s early 2000’s flash game nostalgia which I never knew I had before. I am surprised to say that one night while playing, I was taken back to my 9th grade computer lab class where my friends and I were desperately trying to find a web site with flash games on it that the school’s internet filter wouldn’t block. Finally finding a site that had simple games such as this, only to be disappointed after a week when the filter caught on and began blocking each new website we found. We eventually gave up and just put NES/SNES emulators on our personal flash drives. Good times.
As far as sound… I mean, its there. The few tracks there are, are just calming background music that sets a chill tone. You can choose to turn it off or on, that’s about it. I will mention that the PSN trophy sound coming up every once in a while, as you nab trophies just by happenstance by playing normally, is pretty satisfying. In the same way people who use a pedometer to count their normal, everyday “steps” as exercise, playing normally here “earns” you trophies. Maybe that is part of their idea?
Trophy hunters are always looking for easy Platinum trophies, and there is a pretty painless Platinum here. Not bad for $4.99.
One thing I feel I should mention here before wrapping this up, is that for being on a system such as the Vita, I kinda of expected you to be able to guide your cursor with your finger using the touch screen. The Vita has the capabilities for it, and you can touch the screen to pick stages and menu options, so why isn’t it there? Especially since that is how you play the iPhone version. This could have been the definitive version to have if it was in there, and it’s not like you even get cross-buy here.
There was also a bug I ran into. I had completed a stage, and a message popped up telling me what it was I unlocked. After I kept pressing X to close the prompt, it wouldn’t leave the screen, but I could go about the menus and stuff with the message still splattered in the center of the screen, even after going back to the main menu. I was forced to close the game out and restart it. Odd little bug that appeared once, but I feel it needed to be mentioned.
So, should you get this game? Well, it’s good for what it is. Nothing too special but I had fun with it and became engrossed with short binges of it here and there. If you are a trophy hunter and just want an uncomplicated Platinum, this is one to put on your list. I guess buying the PS4 version also with nab you two! It’s not “My Name Is Mayo” easy, but it’s easy enough. At least here you are using some brain power. Also, the short nostalgia trip I had with the game put a smile on my face, so I give it credit for that, even though that’s anecdotal.
Score: 6 out of 10
Spiral Splatter is a fun, casual distraction while in a waiting room or a train ride. Earning the Platinum trophy is a walk in the park, so trophy hunters, look for this one!