Nintendo announced an abundance of Nintendo eShop titles for the Nintendo 3DS during its last Nintendo Direct segment, but one game stood out amongst the pack. Of course, I’m talking about Kersploosh!, a game with the quirky concept of dropping an object down a well while avoiding obstacles to ensure it hits the water below.
Kersploosh! is an arcade-like experience that challenges you to not only reach the bottom of the well, but also to finish with the fastest time possible. You start out with a stone – more objects unlock as you play – and then watch a small scene, usually between two people, that explains why the object is falling down the well. For instance, two kids are hanging out near a well – under parental supervision I hope – and one convinces the other that dropping a stone down the well will be fun. These are simple little scenes, but they offer logical reasons for your adventure down the well, plus they are quite charming.
During your descent, you’ll be controlling the stone with the circle pad, the only input you’ll need throughout the well portions of the game. It is your duty to avoid obstacles like pizza slices, rolling logs, fans, and a bunch of other out of place objects until you reach the water. Maneuvering around these objects with the circle pad is smooth and works quite well, but can become a little jumpy when things start moving faster. Things begin to move faster when you fall through the hole of a donut; the game calls this a boost. Boosting can make it difficult to dodge obstacles, which can ultimately lead to your downfall. You do have Hit Points which you need to be aware of if you want to survive; crashing through a balloon will refill some hit points. All of the above may sound weird, but it does make for interesting and fun gameplay.
[pullquote]The gameplay is endearing, which is a shame because the experience is over too soon.[/pullquote]
Once you successfully reach the bottom of a well, you’ll unlock the next well, or level if you prefer. There are ten levels in all and each can be completed in less than two minutes, meaning Kersploosh! is a relatively short title, if you only play through it once. There are 10 different objects to unlock, each with their own boost and HP stats. These stats will determine how difficult your fall down the well will be; an iron ball with 999 HP will make clearing levels a breeze, while a fragile and speedy jewel will challenge you a lot more. Of course, as a big focus of this game is on finishing in the fastest possible time, the object you choose will also be important for doing speed runs. Replay value will be dependent upon if you just want to clear the game, or compete for the fastest possible times. Personally, I played through once, tried the different objects, and was done in about 35 minutes. I may play it out of boredom sometime, but I’m essentially done with the game.
While Kersploosh! is a rather short game, it is a well-polished game. The soundtrack is great – even if it is repetitive – and the graphics are pleasing. Kersploosh! really makes a splash with its fantastic 3D visuals, which look so cool that it can be a little distracting when the speed lines are nearly popping out your eyes.
Kersploosh! will find a niche group of gamers, but won’t appeal to everybody. The gameplay is endearing, which is a shame because the experience is over too soon. Those that live for speed runs will definitely take to Kersploosh! more so than me. It’s an interesting game, and at $2.99, it isn’t too expensive should you decide to take the plunge.
6.5/10 – Above Average