A whimsical entry in the ‘falling’ genre
This is going to sound really weird, but when I was younger, I had a dream about my perfect game. It was basically an open-world version of Mirror’s Edge without gunplay. It was more of a whimsical experience like Jumping Flash, taking you on a dream-like journey through a world, with an emphasis on free-falling.
Kersploosh! is basically a bite-sized realization of that game — albeit a very brief, fleeting, yet enjoyable experience. It’s a bit one-sided at times, but ultimately, it gives you exactly what it advertises: the ability to drop objects into a well and have fun falling down it.
Kersploosh! (3DS eShop)
Release: March 7, 2013
Some time ago, Poisoft created a game called Hyu-Stone that launched with the Japanese 3DS eShop. After nearly two years, the game was re-worked for regions outside of Japan, and behold, Kersploosh! (Splash or Crash in Europe) was born.
Kersploosh! is both a time attack and survival-based game, as each object has a certain amount of HP allotted to it before it explodes, and every round is graded with a timer. This essentially allows you to enjoy the experience entirely within your own self-imposed parameters.
You’ll control everything solely with the circle pad, and pretty much every object does what you want it to. It’ll take a bit to get used to the really tight controls that may feel a bit oversensitive at first, but I was able to acclimate myself fairly easily.
Conceptually, the game is about “what an object sees” as they fall down a well, so you’re going to experience some pretty wild obstacles, like donuts, pizza doors, and various delectable treats. These crazy objects keep things interesting and keep you guessing as to what the next well will bring.
The 3D looks great (although it can be overwhelming if you’re not used to it), and the graphical style lends itself very well to a game predominately about imagination.
At first, you’ll have access to a pebble, but as you start to unlock more wells, you’ll unlock more objects, the use of which will in turn will unlock different objects.
These range from a drop of water that only has 1 HP, to a seemingly invincible wrecking ball, to an invincible bouncy ball, to a nesting doll that opens up one of its layers after striking an object. There are 10 objects in all, and they all feel extremely different, control-wise.
One of my favorite parts of the game is the introduction of each object before a stage takes place. For instance, the giant wrecking ball is thrown down a well by a former shot-putter, who is abandoning his dreams of making it big.
The only problem is that each object only has one intro. With some imaginative writers, these could have been something truly special, as I easily would have re-used objects just to read from a selection of 20+ short stories. It’s just a small addition that could have gave the game that much more heart.
In terms of content, the main problem with Kersploosh! is that there’s only 10 wells to choose from, so if you don’t buy into the idea of replaying them with different objects, you’re going to have a short experience — I’m talking around thirty minutes.
To extend the replay value a bit, it would have been nice if there were online leaderboards included in addition to the ones shared through StreetPass. In fact, given the low price of the game, even friend list leaderboards would have done wonders, as it would be easy to convince people to buy the game just to best your score.
As it stands, the in-game leaderboards themselves have an old-school feel to them, and the game lends itself very well to a “pass and play” style where everyone vies for the top spot.
With a bit more content and some tweaking, Kersploosh! could have been one of the best games on the 3DS eShop, because as it stands, it’s a hard sell for people who like their experiences padded with more content. If you’re okay with a short, enjoyable journey to the bottom of a well though, it’s more than enough.