Thank you Snails Animation for sending us a review code!
In Star Splash: Shattered Star a celestial mother star is given credit for sustaining life and balance on our planet. Evil gets in the way of its duties and causes the star to shatter into thousands of pieces. It’s up to a nameless dolphin (or dolphins if you’re playing two-player) to collect all of the pieces and restore the star to her former glory. Despite the mother nature story, this game is family friendly though some kids and adults may be put off by its difficulty.
There are two difficulty levels, but the hard mode only unlocks after completing the game on the normal difficulty. In the two-player mode the players compete against each other to see who can retrieve the most star fragments.
The meat of this 2D action swimming game is the single-player campaign. Your goal is to swim, dash, jump, and hover to collect the required amount of stars to move onto the next level. You have the option of practicing the level as much as you like without penalty. If you fail to collect the minimum number of stars on a real run, you’ll get points deducted from your score. Since the score is shown on the game’s main menu, you may want to consider keeping it above zero.
Collecting stars sounds easy enough; the problem is that you can’t take your time or go back if you miss any. Precision is key as you need to time your jumps, dives, and dashes to collect stars while avoiding enemy puffer fish and tentacles. The dolphin has some helpful friends like jellyfish that let him/her jump off of them and flying fish will give the main character the temporary ability to glide.
The dolphin has several abilities that consume energy to use. The sonar allows the dolphin to collect special stars or get a preemptive strike on harmful enemies. Some stars are deep and require a dive to get to them while others are so high that a double-jump is needed for retrieval. Energy can be replenished by going in the water or by touching a jellyfish.
The 2D graphics are colorful and cute and I like how you can play this game on the gamepad alone or on the big screen. If you’re using a bigger screen, a map is shown on the gamepad for you. There are over thirty levels and each area has a different look and background music assigned to it. While the music is cute at first, it can get repetitive if you get stuck on the same level or area for a while.
In the end, Star Splash: Shattered Star is a cute game that gets pretty challenging quickly. The price is a reasonable $3.49 so you won’t be hurting too much financially if you or a loved one get frustrated by it. If you like dolphins and endless runners, you may want to look into this title.