Spiral Splatter is a simplistic looking puzzle game that is fun in short bursts, but won’t maintain your interest for long. Turns out, I’m not as nimble or as accurate in my analogue stick control as I once was. Where I think I’m aiming, and where I’m actually headed, are often 2 very different things. At least, according to Spiral Splatter. Using the left stick, you guide a small puck around a maze to get to the goal. Touch the sides and you splat, taking you back to the beginning or nearest checkpoint.
Restarts are instant, which in this sort of game are an absolute must, and seeing as even the slightest graze of the sides causes failure it’s good to be able to get straight back into it. Pressing A will give your puck a speed boost, enabling you to chase down high scores and try to earn all 3 stars for each level, though using it on anything other than straights is a waste of time as you’ll just splat over and over. Stars are awarded for completion time with literally no other objectives to complete. Collect enough and you unlock the next set of levels, each with different obstacles to navigate.
Early levels are simple mazes, but further down these rotate, there are projectiles and moving parts to avoid and teleporters to make use of. While these add a little variety, they are not always well implemented. The teleports, for example, give no indication of where you will come out and going back into one will often lead you somewhere else. Trial and error comes into play a lot more later on, with some backtracking and switch flipping taking a few attempts to figure out what does what. Puzzles never really evolve beyond this though, the game being more of a dexterity test.
One other point to note: Going back to play the game after a couple of days, I loaded it up to find that my progress had been completely wiped. Reloading got back 6 of the 11 levels I had unlocked but I couldn’t seem to get any more back than that. Scores etc.. seemed to be gone along with it. Of course, it could be an issue on my end as I couldn’t find anything with a quick search online, but something to be aware of, and that, really, is that. I managed to get to the final set of levels with the hour and at no point did I feel any desire to retry any levels.
High score enthusiasts will find some enjoyment in bettering their scores, but anyone else will likely get fairly bored after just an hour or so. Simple and to the point, it feels more like an early app store game. Something to pass a few minutes while waiting for a train, rather than something to sit in front of the telly to play.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version.