Splody is a new multiplayer action game developed by Dashing Strike, taking heavy inspiration from Bomberman whilst trying to bring something old to the new generation. Set as their first release on Steam, Splody has a very cartoonish style, both in graphics and design. Aiming to be simplistic, not only in gameplay but execution.
On release, Splody comes with 2 forms of play, online play and local play, allowing for friends to play over the internet or on the couch. In both of these connection types you have 2 game modes on offer, “Last Man Standing” which is basically a Deathmatch and “Capture The Dino” a form of capture the flag.
With its release, there are currently 4 servers to select from, but you can also host your own game servers. Allowing you to select from an array of settings, your own server can host between 2 and 64 players, with a similar number of bot players. You can then set how many matches to win, 1, 3, 5 or 7. Splody also features a level editor and the ability to share levels online.
If you have every played Bomberman when you were younger, or its different variations over the years, you should know how to play Splody almost immediately. Movement is done with WASD, dropping bombs with E and a pinging your character with Q to find where you are in the chaos. Those 6 keys are the main ones you will be using throughout a game, with K coming in for special abilities like Dynamite.
The main aim of Splody is for 1 character to be left standing, or for someone to gain 100 points in Capture the Dino. To do so, you must place bombs on the map and explode both boxes and characters. Once a character is killed, they are out of that match, but can still affect the game as a ghost, spawning bombs, though slower, around the map. Killing someone in Capture the Dino causes them to lose their dino, stopping their point increase.
As you play and destroy boxes you will uncover power-ups, in 9 different forms. From a flame that increases your bomb explosion size by 1 tile, bombs that increase the number of bombs you can place at once to speed boots and remote dynamite. Most of the power-ups are copied over from Bomberman games, with not too much change made to them. The only real difference is the Dino eggs, replacing the animal eggs from Bomberman with just 1 species of animal.
Before each game you can select an Avatar from 6 preset ones, after they are selected you can walk over 2 columns of paint, colouring your primary and secondary colours. This style of character customisation is quick and simple, but is quite lacking for such a big multiplayer game, with up to 64 characters on screen at once.
Overall thoughts and feelings
The music is a mix of techno and rock, with a very simplistic approach to its design and execution. I couldn’t get into the soundtrack at all, as it sounded too boring and plain for most of my time playing with it. The sound effects are also rather plain, going for a cartoonish sound combined with a cutesy aesthetic.
Adding to the cutesy and simple style, the graphics are again done in a cartoonish manner, and while this does stick with its house rule it becomes a bit too much for an older audience. The characters look as if they are made of playdough and were drawn quite a few years ago on Newgrounds. The combination of sound and graphics should appeal to a younger audience, but for those who played the original Bomberman games might be put off entirely.
Right now, Splody doesn’t contain enough game modes or uniqueness to set itself apart from other Bomberman clones or even other Steam greenlight games. After 30 minutes you have seen all the game has to offer, becoming a mere party game you might forget you own. This style of game might entice some players, with its pick up and play nature to its simplistic aesthetic and gameplay, but for more advanced players, or older ones, it just seems too childish.
Overall Splody gets a 7/10, it replicates the Bomberman feel amazingly whilst tying it down with a young style and approach. The maps are varied but lack enough detail to really set them apart. The soundtrack and sound design are too simplistic, bordering on someone making noises with their mouth. Almost all the pickups and mechanics are straight from Bomberman, and you might be better off playing the original. If you have £5 to spare and don’t own a party game like this than I suggest it, but if you have enough controllers and an older console you will be better off playing the original Bomberman games.