When it comes to budget titles on the Wii U, I don’t usually expect too much, and with good reason. If I’m going to spend $1-2 dollars on a game, I understand that I’m most likely getting a game that is better suited to short bursts of play. Sometimes these budget titles surprise me, and Splashy Duck is one game that has certainly done that. Unfortunately, it surprised me for all the wrong reasons.
The game itself boils down to a rather odd take on the game of Pong. You take control of a cutesy duck, and you must bounce between two goal posts in order to collect coins to rack up a high score, all while dodging incoming enemies. With your only control option being a simple press of the “A” button which changes your direction, the game play is as basic as it can get. Dodging the randomly spawning enemies is the only challenge the game offers, yet the amount of enemies that can appear on the screen never increases, so the difficulty never ramps up.
Visually, the game looks decent enough. The graphics are simple, but they are not hard on the eyes. One might question why there are shark enemies chasing Splashy Duck rather than crocodiles, but now we are just being nit-picky. There is just one looping music track in the game, and while it’s an upbeat tune, you’ll find yourself getting tired of it quickly. The background’s color also changes each time you die and restart the game, which is always welcome.
What surprised me most about Splashy Duck was the developer’s use of a game creation template on Construct 2’s online marketplace. For those unaware, Construct 2 is a game development tool, and it features an online marketplace for developers to create and sell assets for use in game development projects. Let me make this clear, I have no problem with any developer using a game template in order to springboard their development, but Splashy Duck does little to differentiate itself from the game template known as Splashy Pong. While this discovery is incredibly disappointing, (the demo of Splashy Pong available on the Construct marketplace is essentially the entirety of Splashy Duck that you can play for free) It’s my hope developer RC MADIAX takes this criticism well, and puts his heart back into the games he makes.
After all is said and done, I find it incredibly difficult to recommend Splashy Duck to anyone, even at the budget price of $1.49. While the game may be suitable to extremely young children just learning how to play games, any appeal is quickly lost to the simple game play and lack of increasing difficulty. The game may be created from a template, but adding custom graphics, increasing difficulty, or even an online leader board could have added more value to this title as well as giving it an identity of its own. It’s for these reasons that I recommend you avoid Splashy Duck.
Review: Splashy Duck (Wii U)
Uninspired game play and questionable use of game development resources make this title hard to recommend to anyone.