Saturday, November 01, 2008


"Whatever happened to the Popular Front, Reg?"
"He's over there."

Ahem, sorry, just had to get that out of my system. Anyway, Splitter is (with the exception of one issue) pretty much the ideal Flash puzzle game. It's a novel idea, interesting yet simple. Each attempt takes only a few seconds, although a level may take many attempts. The game is challenging without being frustrating, difficult enough that it's not a total cakewalk yet not so difficult that you'll feel that the game is unfair. And it doesn't push it too far -- there are 25 levels, each of which has an interesting concept behind it, rather than overstaying its welcome by throwing in far too many levels.

Anyway, the basic concept of Splitter is, as mentioned before, simple yet elegant. You have a ball, which you want to get to the exit. The ball is usually positioned on some wooden blocks, perhaps held together with some strings. Your job is, given a finite number of cuts, to cut the blocks and/or strings in such a way that the ball makes it to the exit. There's also metal, which can't be cut, but can still move if other objects push it, and brick, which can't be cut and doesn't move. Most of the levels have stars, which are theoretically a bonus element, but on most levels you'll get the star naturally on your way to the exit without having to do anything special, which kind of defeats the purpose. (There are a couple which are a little tricky.)

The music is kind of charming and peaceful, though (really, I should just make a macro for this) it gets kind of repetitive after a while. There's not much in the way of sound effects, except for a little victory sound when you finish a level or get a star, and the graphics are pretty basic.

Now, for my one huge issue. I started playing this game when I noticed people in chat talking about it (which has led me to some pretty bad games, for sure), decided to try it out on a whim, and enjoyed it so much that I kept playing it...despite the fact that there were no badges to be had! As you know, this is quite rare for me. However, I figured that this was a polished enough game that it was probably likely to get badges at some point down the road, so I figured I'd finish the game and then I'd just get the badge when it came out. Unfortunately for me, although the game saved my progress as I progressed through the levels, once I finished, my progress was reset! Needless to say, I was a little annoyed at having to go through the game a second time (although I cleverly didn't do the last level the second time).

Overall, Splitter is an enjoyable experience. There are some levels which will undoubtedly be tricky -- many of the levels demand some very precision cutting, which will take a lot of trial and error -- but it never gets too difficult, so give it a try and you should have a fun ride.


ToastyKen said...

Yeah, this game actually gave me a few "aha!" moments, which is all you can ask for from a game like this. :) It's a novel idea as you said, and most levels were interesting. The 3rd to last level, "bridge", was the hardest for me. (That's the one with the wooden plank held by two wires above two pivots.)

Paul said...

Hmm, interesting. Swing (level 19, the seesaw) was by far the most annoying for me. Also, the game seems to have lost my progress again. :/