World Splitter Review
In a world of puzzle games, it’s always about how you can innovate a tried and true gaming genre that will really set you apart from the crowd. Considering the legions of offerings, you need a certain je ne sais quoi to catch the eye of the discerning gamer. A 2D side scroller with adorable monsters and a space pilot rabbit as your lead may not be enough. But how about a dual-layered map where you rotate your ‘splitter’ and use physics and the environments to collect your little friends? And finish levels that see dramatic increases in difficulty? Because that’s World Splitter, a deceptively challenging game that was as much a head-scratcher as it was fun.
Here’s a real breakdown of how to play World Splitter. Each map is actually two that you have to split to navigate properly. You can rotate your splitter to come at obstacles from different angles, and you can slide it to access the secondary area of the map. An example of how it works is, let’s say the gap between where I’m standing and where my monster friend is waiting is too far to jump. If I spin to get the angle right and slide it just so, I’ll reveal enough of the landing on the underside of the map to jump to it, finishing my mission. Think of the ‘Upside Down’ in Stranger Things, and you’ve got the idea.
Of course, as you go on, there are new ways to navigate the maps and enemies that show up to get in your way. You can see through to the other side before you move your splitter, use portals, or learn to jump, all of which assist you as you move forward. The maps are also aptly named and are a clue as to how you can make it through, which is a nice way to help out without making me feel like my hand is being held.
It’s All About Perspective
Because I have to say, this game made me realize how I completely lack nearly any spatial recognition whatsoever. I STRUGGLED with so many maps because I couldn’t figure out the right angle or how fast/slow to move the angle. So while I looked at this simple, 2D map with some gaps and an enemy or two, I thought to myself how quickly I would move through this game. I can assure you that it did not happen. If anything, I shaved a couple of years off my life from stress. What’s more, each level has a time challenge and a challenge for how many degrees you can swing the splitter. Nothing says ‘do better’ like posting an 18 minute time on a level with a 45-second challenge.
Outside of making you want to put the controller through the wall on your own, World Splitter offers a co-op mode where you and a friend have your own splitters, and you have to work together to navigate the shared level. As you can imagine, this is incredibly fun and what I also believe will be directly involved in the dissolution of relationships and the destruction of friendships. For every time you figure out the right angle and the two of you grab that last little monster and head for the exit, there are about 13 times you swing it too far, or you turn the splitter the wrong way, and you squish your partner into a wall. The entire game is built on the thrill of winning, giving you enough serotonin to overcome the many, many, many agonies of defeat. Sometimes, well, the person you’re playing with only knows the agony of defeat. Choose your partners wisely.
When I look at World Splitter as a whole, the only downside I can find is its replay value. Perfectionists will want to complete every level without leaving any monster behind, and people with unhealthy coping mechanisms will want to beat it with all challenges completed. If you’re normal, though, you may not want to go back and have your incompetence reiterated. In the same token, once you’re stuck, you’re stuck, which is a bit of a bummer when you can’t figure out how to move an enemy up and over where you need to go for what seemed like days.
Overall, World Splitter is a really great and challenging puzzler that may look easy but will leave you scratching your head more often than not. The unique double map and physics mechanics are some of those things that really make World Splitter stand out. The cute and simplistic style is very aesthetically pleasing and helps keep you from screaming at the top of your lungs when you take one step too many at the very end of a map. Challenge your brain and spatial awareness if you dare.
***PS4 code provided by the publisher***
- Surprisingly Challenging Puzzles
- Unique Mechanics
- A Co-op Mode
- Limited replay