What parents need to know
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'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?
The Splatters shares much in common with games like Angry Birds, Peggle, 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?
|Subjects:||Math: estimation, geometry, measurement |
Science: gravity, momentum, physics
|Skills:||Self-Direction: achieving goals, goal-setting, self-assessment |
Creativity: developing novel solutions
Thinking & Reasoning: deduction, prediction, strategy
|Available online?||Not available online|
|Release date:||April 12, 2012|
|Topics:||Magic and fantasy, Arts and dance|
|ESRB rating:||E for Mild Fantasy Violence |