The Splatters


GAME OF THE WEEK: 3 cert, SpikySnail, Xbox ****

If you like your games populated by acrobatic creatures with a tendency to die in spectacular fashion, you’ll love The Splatters. The Xbox Live Arcade game is another physics-driven action puzzler, and one that will hook you from the outset thanks to its quirky characters and replay value.

The Splatters are liquid- filled creatures on a suicide mission: to destroy themselves in style. And they do it all with a smile on what you would assume are their faces.

The game works on a simple premise. Each level has glowing bombs dotted around it. To get a high score, you need to explode the Splatters over the bombs, covering the bombs in their internal goop. Some of the bombs are easy to get to; others will require a bit more skill and some tricky moves.

There are bits of the game levels that work both for and against you in achieving this goal. While you can launch yourself off surfaces to perform stunts and get a better high score, you can also meet a premature end if you accidentally catch yourself on bits of the scenery. The bombs are colour-coded, so you have to hit them with a matching creature to successfully clear them.

Even when you clear levels, you might find yourself compelled to go back for another try, especially when you see some of the frankly amazing combos that other players have managed to achieve. the more you pay, the more confident you’ll get about pulling off these tricks, and before you know it you’ll be creating chains of combo moves that move you up the rankings.

As you progress, you learn new stunts and tricks, such as the ability to reverse. But it’s not just about creating the spectacular stunts; you have bragging rights to fight for, with star ratings on the levels and high scores you’ll want to best.

It all adds up to a game that will have you well and truly hooked from the first level.