wed 25/11/2020

Splot | reviews, news & interviews

Splot

Splot

Angry Birds simplicity and platform game difficulty meet…

'Splot': How much closer could the design be to Angry Birds?

If Splot looked any more like Angry Birds, it'd have to call itself Bouncy Birds. But looks can be deceiving – this is a fairly shrewd attempt to merge the visual style of the record-breaking mobile series with something far more traditional in videogame terms – the platformer.

If Splot looked any more like Angry Birds, it'd have to call itself Bouncy Birds. But looks can be deceiving – this is a fairly shrewd attempt to merge the visual style of the record-breaking mobile series with something far more traditional in videogame terms – the platformer.

Platform games such as the Mario series, most famously, see you jumping from point to point around a level, trying to reach an end goal (often against a timer) and dodge the hazards in the world. Frozenbyte, the developers of Splot, previously made the Trine series – an attempt to update the classic platformer in a different direction, and a largely successful one. There, groups of players worked together cooperatively (or on their own) to solve physical puzzles and progress through the jumping-over-obstacles levels.

In Splot, the opposite is being done – rather than make the platform game more complex for grown-up gamers, it's been made simpler – more suited to the thumb and finger prodding of mobile devices. On an iPhone or iPad (for now, presumably), Splot's control scheme is initially very simple – prod the left hand half of the screen to jump left, the right hand half to jump right. Of course, life is never that simple…

Splot - Angry Birds style mobile puzzle game for iOS, iPhone, iPad etc.The aim of Splot is to race through levels being chased by a large bouncy black blob. You need to rescue as many of the little birds littered among the hazards of the level as you can by touching them, before the barely-slower bouncing blob gets them. And as well as simply bouncing, you're soon sliding, triggering pressure pads and dodging hazards.

You're also able to unlock power-ups for your character – letting you do things like turn enemies into ice, or collect birds from further away without touching them. The catch being you can only use a specific power every few levels you attempt.

This, plus the increasingly frenetic pacing and precision required of the levels, means Splot rapidly moves from the gentle, if tactical, play that Angry Birds does very well, into the realms of classic twitchy and tactical platforming. That, unfortunately, is when things go a bit wrong.

Splot - Angry Birds style mobile puzzle game for iOS, iPhone, iPad etc.The controls aren't quite up to the job. Sliding is the real bugbear – it means holding a finger rather than tapping. When you're in a really tough level and having to alternate between fast taps and slow holds, it's all too easy to tap when you should hold or vice versa. Given the unforgiving nature of later levels, one slip up means repeating from the start.

The end result is often fun, frequently challenging but for many will be a tad too frustrating and repetitive as you repeat levels over and over to crack them. Which, come to think of it, is an accusation you could also level at Splot's inspiration Angry Birds.

Rather than make the platform game more complex... it's been made simpler – more suited to the finger prodding of mobile devices...

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

Explore topics

Share this article

Add comment

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters