Time to plop down those bucks or leave a sinking ship?
A title called Hyu-Stone released with the launch of the Japanese 3DS eShop. Made and released independently by Poisoft, the game had players dropping a stone or object into a well in crazy courses. Now, after 21 months, Nintendo is releasing a Poisoft title for the first time in Western regions. The developer, known for various WiiWare and 3DS eShop releases, has made an interesting game, though not without some glaring issues.
Splash or Crash (Kersploosh! in North America) is all about guiding an object to the end of a well. The main gripe I had with the original release, that you can unlock the game’s 10 levels in about 30 minutes, remains in this re-release. This is mostly a time-attack game, so you will have to go for your scores over and over again once you open all the levels. However, you can’t easily share scores with friends. You can get them through StreetPass, but you can't see through the 3DS friend list how the people you care about fare in the game.
Discovering and taking advantage of various paths through Splash or Crash’s level is genuinely fun, and allows for some slight replayability. The experience often becomes an intense game of memory and reflexes, and makes the game shine in turn. Splash or Crash is also a good on-the-go experience, as levels shouldn't take longer than a minute or two to complete. You can also have the 10 different objects, which you can throw in the well. The selection includes a diamond,a teardrop and a Russian doll. All of them have different skills and HP levels, which become interesting to experience with. The teardrop has for example just one single hit point and that makes the survival a heart-pumping thrill.
Playing Splash or Crash also requires dealing with the controls, though, which may take some time to master. Guiding objects might not go as well in the beginning, so some frustration could kick in here and there. The handling is rough at first glance and you will be flying all over the place. Every object has different movement tendencies, though, so I suggest giving them all a good go. In the worst case, go with the bouncy ball (it has infinite HP).
The soundtrack of the game is limited, with just one song playing over the entirety of the gameplay. Mind you, it is not a bad tune, but most players will likely get bored of it quite fast. The various menus and the title screen have their own songs as well, which makes you wonder why there couldn't have been one song more at the very least. Splash or Crash is more varied graphically, though; the game is quite colourful in tone, and always appealing to look at. The 3D effect is amazing as well, though may strain your eyes a little in busier moments.
Splash or Crash is the definition of a pick-up-and-play game. While some of its aspects leave something to be desired, the game is an enjoyable affair and discovering paths through wells can be a lot of fun. Even with lots of trinkets and paths to discover, though, the game’s selection of levels might not last you long.