The Splatters

 
(i)

 

Learning(i)

Fun physics-based puzzler about flinging blobs of paint.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

This game promotes strategic thinking while also rewarding players with quick reflexes. It does not have any moral, political, or social concerns.

Positive role models

The only characters in the game are the paint splatters, and they don't speak or exhibit much in the way of emotion or thought while being tossed about.

Ease of play

This puzzle game isn't quite as accessible as it might first seem. It's a game of both strategy and practiced skill. However, kids who take the time to watch the movies that demonstrate various moves players can employ to more effectively splat their paint balls shouldn’t have too much trouble getting the hang of things.

Violence & scariness

Googly-eyed balls of paint become splatters as they bang up against walls, smash into spikes, and rub up against blades. This splattering doesn't appear to hurt them -- their goal is to coat objects -- but it can have the illusion of looking painful. Some players may mistake the paint shedding from red balls as blood (though it isn't).

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Splatters is a physics-based puzzler where players throwing balls of paint around the screen. There’s not really any violence, though players may be tempted to anthropomorphize the game's googly-eyed splatters and feel some compassion for them as they are splashed against walls and objects (even though they don't seem to mind at all). It's not as easy or intuitive as some other puzzlers, so players might want to pay attention to the in-game tutorials and instructions as they arise.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • measurement
  • estimation
  • geometry

Science

  • physics
  • gravity
  • momentum

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • prediction
  • strategy
  • deduction

Creativity

  • developing novel solutions

Self-Direction

  • self-assessment
  • achieving goals
  • goal-setting

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

An instinctual, reflexive experience that's satisfying in a way that only games requiring a practiced proficiency can be. Game-loving kids will be reeled in.

Learning Approach

Kids can learn about strategy and solving puzzles in this physics-based brainteaser. Kids will observe gravity acting on liquid and apply their understanding of these concepts to solve the game’s puzzles. 

Support

In-game instructions cover the basics, but kids will need to practice and hone their skills to master this game. Some may choose to look up level walkthroughs online for inspiration.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • measurement
  • estimation
  • geometry

Science

  • physics
  • gravity
  • momentum

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • prediction
  • strategy
  • deduction

Creativity

  • developing novel solutions

Self-Direction

  • self-assessment
  • achieving goals
  • goal-setting

Kids can learn about strategy and solving puzzles in this physics-based brainteaser. Kids will observe gravity acting on liquid and apply their understanding of these concepts to solve the game’s puzzles. They'll be forced to think in advance and concoct strategies, and then re-evaluate and change these strategies on the fly as opportunities to create larger combination moves arise. Kids fling paint balls for fun in The Splatters, but if they covet high scores, they'll use some reasoning and knowledge of physics.

This Learning Rating review was written by Chad Sapieha

Kids say

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What's it about?

In the Xbox Live Arcade-exclusive puzzle game THE SPLATTERS, players fling around googly-eyed blobs of color, making them splat into walls, and coat sticky jellies lying around the play area. Pop-up instructions and tutorials help players to understand that they can control the direction of their blobs not only during takeoff but also mid-flight simply by tapping the A-button a second time and pushing a thumbstick in the direction they want their splatter to fly. Using this trick and others, players can pull off stunts -- smashing into spikes, diving hard for an especially big splatter, and \"flipping\" the game's physics (which feels a little like reversing time) -- to build combos for higher scores and more efficiently clear the area of jellies. The game is broken into multiple series of puzzles, providing several hours of entertainment.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The Splatters shares much in common with games like Angry BirdsPeggle, and even Where's My Water?. Players work with trajectories, targets, and a physics system centered around a realistic (if slightly float-y) gravity construct. It employs the three-star scoring system, providing ample motivation for players to revisit levels they’ve completed but have yet to completely master. But what The Splatters has that makes it special is an intangible, deeply game-ish quality that will strike a chord with casual and hardcore players alike. Anyone can play, but to excel you’ll need to develop an intimate connection with the game's rules, physics, and controls similar to that cultivated by dedicated fans of fighters and shooters. When you're in the middle of a Splatters combo you’re in the zone, no more aware of the buttons you press than one is actively conscious of putting one leg in front of the other while walking down the street. It's an instinctual, reflexive experience that's satisfying in a way that only games requiring a practiced proficiency can be. That's why it's a must for Xbox-owning puzzle fans.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how to manage the amount of time spent playing video games.

  • Families can also discuss puzzles. What makes a good puzzle? Do you like conundrums with a physical component, or do you prefer those that test only your reasoning skills?

  • Families can talk about games that try to mimic our world in specific ways. Do you like to play games that recreate realistic gravity and liquid effects? Do they make you reconsider how these things work in the real world?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360
Price:$10
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Microsoft
Release date:April 12, 2012
Genre:Puzzle
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Arts and dance
ESRB rating:E for Mild Fantasy Violence (Xbox 360)

This review of The Splatters was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 6 year old Written bymadsmooney1214 June 8, 2012
 
LEARNING

splatters

Families can talk about games that try to mimic our world in specific ways. Do you like to play games that recreate realistic gravity and liquid effects? Do they make you reconsider how these things work in the real world?
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence

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