Splash or Crash – known in North America as the more dramatically named Kersploosh! – first made an appearance during last month’s Nintendo 3DS Direct.
It sports a fairly simple concept – the player dropping a variety of objects down a well, then finding themselves tasked with dodging an ever-increasing quantity of obstacles as they seek to hit the murky pool of water at the bottom as fast as possible.
In large part this proves an addictive experience, players gleefully steering their chosen object through an assorted minefield of fans, planks, cannons, and wooden pizza cutouts in their timed quest for supremacy.
Amusingly, each object even has their own tale to tell about their sordid owners: a struggling Olympian who can’t master the shot put; a fake jewel stolen from a parent; and a bouncy ball that has brought nothing but bad luck upon a family. Regardless of whatever reason, they’re thrown away, wells seem to be commonplace to do so.
With just ten alternate levels to whizz through, Splash or Crash initially appears light on content. Yet with each object having its own qualities – across Boost, Speed and HP parameters – replay value, for those seeking it, is available in droves.
Whereas the bouncy ball has unlimited health, meaning that regardless of circumstance you’ll always make your way to the depths of the well, other objects prove to be more brittle. Even the standard stone can’t take too many bashes, but you’ll later unlock a mysterious fluid that can only take a single knock before it’s game over – a true test of patience and skill!
Collisions reduce your HP, which may be sporadically recovered by adjusting your descent to pop balloons, whilst passing through the centre of excessively large doughnuts grants a temporary boost to speed you toward your goal.
Progression unlocks further objects, diversifying your approach to tackling each well which soon begins to throw up surprises themselves. Water physics soon see your projectile become slowed, fans threaten to throw you off course, and darkened passages seek to catch you off-guard.
Splash or Crash may not rival the big hitters available on Nintendo eShop, yet still offers a novel and challenging experience that’ll test your gaming prowess in new ways.
Version Tested: Nintendo 3DS
Review copy provided by Nintendo