Lasting First Impressions of SPLIT! from Touchy Interactive
» Mobile gaming is quickly becoming a viable option for many indie developers and many users only platform of choice. So when Malaysian Indie developer, Touchy Interactive set there eyes on developing a new action puzzle game, they came up with SPLIT!, about a team of prisoners escaping their captors. The prisoners, aptly named Red and Blue, must work together to escape the prison and gain their ultimate freedom.
SPLIT! is a puzzle game first and foremost. While the action in the game is essentially a cover-based shooter, all the weapons action is played out automatically once Red and Blue have reached their destination. To do this, each character’s path is drawn on the screen from point one to point two. The objective is to clear each level of all guards by drawing their fire and then flanking them. No single level could be achieved by a single prisoner so teamwork is essential here.
There are three difficultly levels, each with ten maps, but don’t expect the Easy levels to be just that as the challenge level spikes dramatically early into the game. This is a game about tactics and strategy and multiple tries. Even during the first few levels of the game, I found myself dying quickly and starting from the beginning to try a new path. There is something inherently addictive about this game in the “just one more try” arena. While the visuals in SPLIT! don’t vary much throughout the game, the level design is quite well done with each one presenting a new and unique challenge, including touch switches that can only be activated when each prisoner activates one. Fans of modern music will also enjoy the ‘wump wump wump’ of the Dubstep soundtrack that is perfect for plugging in the headphones or speakers and turning up the volume. The music even seems to encourage you to keep going and “give it one more try!”
There are a few issues with the AI such as the inability to draw a path if the connecting hallway is off-screen, or weird u-turn pathing issues (I’ve had the characters reach their destination only to make a couple u-turns before stopping where I want them). There are even a few rare occasions when the characters will stand up out of cover while the enemies are firing and promptly get shot down, ending the level. Overall, however, each of these issues aren’t frustrating enough to away from the enjoyment of the game and can easily be rectified in future patches.
To be completely honest, I wasn’t sure how much I liked this game when I first started playing it and was confident that I wouldn’t go back to it after my initial review period. I was wrong. The challenges in this puzzle game are enough to keep me wanting to come back and try again. Even though it may take many tries to get through one level, the inherent mind-bending challenge is enough to keep me going. SPLIT! is a perfect game to come back to and play just one or two more levels when you have a few minutes and that is enough to make this game worth the measly $0.99 price tag.
For their very first title, SPLIT! is proving that Touchy Interactive is the next breakout developer to keep your eyes on. I look forward to what they will bring us next.
Touchy Interactive, I gave you an hour and I am IMPRESSED.