Spiral Splatter by Nindie Spotlight

Developer: Sometimes You

Publisher: Sometimes You

Release Date: Out Now

Price as of Article: $4.99 USD, £4.49 GBP

Story

Considering this is a straight up puzzle / reactions kind of experience there’s no story to speak of, nor is there particularly a need for one. You’re controlling a dot and trying to get to the finish line. Perhaps you could view it as an abstract commentary on the struggle towards purpose? Nah, I’ll stick with it being a dot.

Audio

Not a whole lot going on here, just some ambient sounds and light music. It does strike me as a bit odd and a contradiction, as you’re trying to get through the levels and your stress level increases, it’s just there to try to soothe you back down I suppose.

Visuals and Performance
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Round and round you go

Spiral Splatter doesn’t have a great deal of need for complex visuals as the style of play is pretty simple. You’re trying to navigate your dot from the start to the target. Along the way, there can be switches and some other complications but for the most part, the game doesn’t have very many elements. That said, what is there tends to be pretty clean, clear, and attractive so at least they don’t disappoint with a simple style and looking ugly somehow. There is no slowdown and nor should there be with a game like this.

Gameplay

Playing out somewhat like the carnival “Test Your Reflexes” games the objective is simply to get from Point A to Point B, in this case, Point B is a target. There’s a sort of track between you and victory, and often a number of bends or even switches and other elements that will force you to traverse through everything in a specific pattern, often overlapping itself to chalk up the difficulty. What lies between you and success isn’t some monster… it’s actually much worse.

This is a game about fighting for precision, and at least for me, that can be a struggle. The space you’re travelling in is pretty narrow and hitting the walls means starting over (though some levels do have a checkpoint). While in principle this seems simple it can be confounding how easy it is to just lapse in concentration a little around the bend and then, BANG, you’re back at the beginning. In particular, turns are the devil because while you’d like to keep everything crisp and in an easy straight line you’ll slowly find yourself trying to cut off the corners.

While I could attempt to write more that really does cover the essence of the game, it centres around that one gimmick and does a fairly good job with it. You’ll be on a timer and have the ability to hold down a button to speed yourself up but that should be used sparingly on straight-aways. Better times equate to more stars being awarded and if you want to progress you’ll need to get those stars so try to keep moving on easier levels to get ahead before it gets tougher. It should be noted that while touchscreen support would seem to make complete sense for a game like this it isn’t supported, you’ll have to use your analogue sticks. I suppose the touchscreen would have possibly made it too much easier but it was still a bit of a surprise.

Value
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Buttons and gates make things more complicated

Given the simple nature of the game, the price is an appropriate one. It’s not really the kind of game where you’ll likely want to sink in a lot of hours continuously, it’s more of an in-between treat to let you kill some time and have some fun. If it were pretty much any more expensive it would be a bit of a problem, but in the purely impulse-buy range, it works.

Pros

P

Knows what it is and takes its hook as far as it can

P

Clean looks and well-executed overall

P

A low price always helps

Cons

P

While there are variations make no mistake, it is a one-trick pony

P

The lack of touchscreen support is a surprise

P

If you don’t like being tense and frustrated it may not be a good match