Game Reviews

Splot

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iOS
| Splot
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Splot
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iOS
| Splot

Fathers seem to lose the capacity to understand modern TV shows and films at around the age of 50.

It's as if the male human brain calcifies two thirds of the way through its existence, and suddenly modern production techniques and pop culture references become like foreign languages.

Playing Splot makes me feel a twinge of sympathy for my poor old dad.

Notes on Splot

A wordless comic-book intro - something about stolen birds and voracious back blobs. Also, coloured one-eyed blobs. The good guys, I think. No idea what's going on.

Never mind, must press on. Ah! The game. Tap the screen to jump. Both sides. Hold on one side to slide down walls. Tap the creature directly to hop between walls. There's that big black blob, chasing me.

Ah, he's not chasing me at all, he's racing me to the birds floating throughout the stage. Got it. Collect birds before the big black blob gets there.

Oh, there's a bunch of black blobs holding some more birds captive. No idea what that's all about, but it seems I end the level by jumping into them.

Post-level screen. Eggs. Three for a clean sweep of blobs, it seems. Jigsaw puzzle pieces hidden within. No idea what they do. My head hurts.

Do keep still

That was my experience playing Splot. I know that pretty (very, very pretty) things are happening on-screen, and I know I'm playing through some kind of platforming foot race, but the finer details are all over the place.

It doesn't help that the controls feel particularly counter-intuitive. Your blob doesn't run at all, it only jumps to either side. Through trial-and error (then tutorial elements don't seem very precise) I establish that the blob will jump towards where you press - except when you need to tap him directly in order to wall jump, or hold the screen to swim.

Given the hurried nature of the gameplay, this led me to a somewhat fudged approach whilst playing through on an iPad, whereby my left thumb was positioned on the left corner for quick (though imprecise) reverse jumps, and my right finger (not thumb) was used for precise forward jumps and for reaching over to tap my character directly.

As I've mentioned, Splot's presentation is lovely, and there's certainly something fresh about the odd movement mechanics and the whole race-to-the-finish premise. But the developer really needs to nail down those controls and clear up all of those wearisome, poorly-explained trinkets and gimmicks.

Splot

A pretty and original but bafflingly constructed oddball platformer with a control system that never feels quite right
Score