Splasher (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

An evil scientist in a paint factory is injecting ink into the workers and transforming them into monsters.  Now a heroic purple haired employee armed with a paint cannon is out to save the day in this super challenging 2-D platformer.  Splatter water and special paint on walls to help you climb on surfaces and bounce high into the air.  It kind of reminds me of the goo puzzles from Portal 2.  Splasher is available to download on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

Your painter hero can run and jump, and later on in the game you’ll get a cannon that’ll let you shoot rapid fire globs of water or paint.  Certain colors of paint will grant you abilities when you touch them.  For instance, red paint will let you stick and climb on walls and ceilings, while yellow paint allows you to bounce high in the air.  Use water from your cannon to wash away paint if you don’t need it, as well as activate certain spinners.

You can also use your cannon to shoot robotic enemies, or if you’re clever enough, lead them into their own traps.  Hidden in every level are eight workers that you must rescue as well.  In fact, you’ll want to rescue as many as you can because that’s how you unlock new stages.  Be on the lookout for special gold paint you can lap up to increase your score.  If your score is high enough at the end of each stage, you can rescue one last hostage.

With all the tricks and traps in the stages, this game really leads itself to fans of super-challenging speedrunner 2-D games like Super Meat Boy.  In fact, Splasher has special time attack and speedrunner modes as well.  But while the game is tough on its own, what really makes the game frustrating is the very loose, floaty, and slippery play control.  It’s tough just to land on a small ledge when your character is flying around all over the place.  Only masochist super challenging 2-D platformer fans need apply.

Kid Factor:

Violence is only cartoony.  If you get hit, the screen will turn black and white as your character just splatters into black drops of paint.  While you mostly fight robots who fall apart when defeated, you can accidentally lead a hostage into a trap if you’re not careful.  If they get hit, they’ll let out an ‘argh’ and splatter like you do.  Younger gamers and less experienced players may get frustrated at the high challenge level.  Splasher is rated E-10.

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