Kersploosh! Review (3DS eShop)
Everybody at some point in their life has probably thrown money into a fountain, down a drain or maybe into a well. Some people have probably made a game out of it by trying to hit certain parts of the fountain or land in a particular spot. My grandparents actually had an old dry well in their backyard and I spent hours throwing chunks of dirt or rocks down there. I don’t remember having to dodge 2×4’s, cookies or doughnuts to get a rock to the bottom of the well, though. The developers at Poisoft have decided that people need to be able to take this pastime with them wherever they go courtesy of Kersploosh!
What You Need to Know
The premise of Kersploosh! is pretty simple. You choose an object, a rock to start with, choose a well and throw said object in the well to reach the bottom. Along the way you have to use the 3DS Circle Pad to maneuver your object through a gauntlet of items like breakable 2×4’s, doughnuts, doughnut shaped boards, cookies or walls. The object of the game is to reach the bottom as fast as possible. Your chosen projectile has a health meter that diminishes every time you hit one of the obstacles in your path, and if it reaches zero you have to start over. Local leaderboards and StreetPass allow you to compete against other players to who follows the laws of gravity the fastest.
A system like the 3DS is probably best suited to host a game of this nature. The 3D effects are in full swing as you see the sides of the well zooming past you with objects growing as they get closer and closer to your falling piece of well trash. It’s generally very easy to tell just where an object is in space because everything has a real sense of solidness to it.
It sounds like a strange thing to praise, but you also get a sense of claustrophobia because there isn’t a lot of room to maneuver. The walls feel like they’re surrounding you. I don’t think it would be possible to get an effect like this without the stereoscopic 3D, but it really does a good job of making you feel like you are a rock that’s falling deeper and deeper into a well.
No Real Sense of Control
Granted, if you actually were a rock falling into a well you wouldn’t have much control over where you could go. It’s very hard to change direction in mid-air without some form of propulsion. However, since this is a time attack game where you’re supposed to be maneuvering an object through a gauntlet, you expect to have a little more control over things than you actually do. Obstacles are moving so quickly and you have so little time to react that it’s very difficult to make sure you’re in a position to avoid things as you get closer to them. Running into something also causes you to careen wildly around the environment, many times causing a chain reaction where you constantly bounce into things, which can rapidly drain your health. Different objects move at slightly different speeds so there are some opportunities to try and limit this, but mostly you just drop into the well, move the stick around and hope that you manage to get into position soon enough to avoid anything you might run into.
There are ten wells and about a dozen different objects that you can choose from. The wells are mostly the same with some variations to the sides of the well and some of the things you’ll do as you fall. Some wells have watery sides, others have long areas that twist around and some have fans built into them that can slow you down. Generally though it’s mostly cosmetic changes as you’ll be avoiding the same handful of things no matter which well you choose.
Each well should take you between a minute to two minutes to complete, so if you use the same object in every well you’ll have seen all of the wells in about 20 minutes. There are also unlockable objects that you can throw into the wells that have different properties. They range from the standard rock to things like the Iron Ball which can take a tremendous amount of damage, but is very slow to something like the gem which is extremely fast, but very fragile. Each of those objects also has a story associated, but that story doesn’t progress or change from well to well. Once you’ve used an object once you’ve seen everything there is to see with it
The idea behind Kersploosh! seems like it would be a lot of fun. There were brief periods of time where I thought I might have been enjoying the game. The time attack aspect means that people who do enjoy it will spend time going back, trying to better their times. Mostly I found it to be an exercise in frustration as I had no real control over the object I was using. The Iron Ball was the thing I had the most fun with. Some objects, like the last object you’ll unlock, will be things that you’ll never complete a well with. Others will take some practice, but eventually could earn success. I really like the idea of this game, but not the execution. You might be better served grabbing 200 pennies and heading to your local mall to toss them in the fountain. It might last you longer and you’ll probably end up benefiting some local charity in the process.
Review copy of the game provided by Nintendo.
Played all ten wells using the seven items I unlocked.
Total play time: 2 hours