The Annoying Oranage… sigh… I just knew I would have to talk about him someday. But first some context on my own thoughts on Daneboe and his annoying little creation. I liked The Annoying Orange for many years, not loved, liked. It was a “punny” little show that I liked for its creative After Effects’ special effects, and creative/groan worthy puns. I’ve fallen out of AO in the past few years, being too busy and all with other projects but I’ve always kept an ear out for all things AO. Why? Well I place AO in the same basket as FRED, and yes, I like Fred too if you were going to ask that (not the movies/show though. GOD no.) Properties that I’m not a particular fan of but I’m proud of them for where they got with Fred I’m proud he got his own crappy show, crappy movies and actually pretty enjoyable animated series online and for Annoying Orange I’m proud he got his own TV show as well as some popular games.
The AO games were made by Thurster, a side division to the overall brand Bottlecap, and the first game Kitchen Carnage rated very high on the iTunes app store and for a time was in the top ten based on the research I’ve done. But now it’s onto the second game, Splattered Up, while I didn’t play the first game I took a lot of time to play this one and… eh. Thankfully no contextual story this time around so let’s jump right into the gameplay.
Splatter Up is a baseball game where you have screaming fruit thrown at you and your task is to swipe your finger from the bottom right, hitting it right under it, to send it flying as far as possible while passing the set “Home-Run” distance and also trying to make it land in several of the death traps for the fruits. Each death trap has different point bonuses like the first blender right after the home run line is worth 150 points, hitting each of the stoves’ burners is another 125 points and as you hit farther and farther the points increase as well as the number of death traps. You get ten outs to get as high a score as possible but if you fail to hit ten fruits outside of the “home-run” line it’s game over and the game will tally up your score.
When I first started up the game I was kinda dubious of it, seeing as every time you hit the fruit they make a “punny” pun that at first is chuckle worthy but just like in a lot of the Spider-man games where Spidey throws out a smartass line every time he hits an enemy, it isn’t too long til the lines are repeated over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and OVER to the point where you want to mute the sound to stop all that noise. But for me at least this proved to be a bad move as these little fruits screams is actually your best indicator for when you should hit them so in all probability you can’t shut off the sound unless you want to hinder your play through.
There is also the problem with the upgrades. Yeah you wouldn’t think it but Splatter Up actually has an upgrade system in place. After each round your points are tallied up and are converted into experience points. As you pass each level you can place your upgrade points into Power or Contact. A higher power making you able to hit the fruit even harder and contact making you able to make contact with the fruit much more precisely. I’ve mulled it over for half a day, wondering what I thought about a handheld game that restricts making it impossible to hit pass a certain point without using a ZOOM (makes you hit harder) or ZIP (makes you hit try fruit in the exact spot to hit it). ThenI thought about last week’s game, the Steven Universe game Gem Bound and it too had an upgrade system similar to this where you got points to buy upgrades and stuff. BUT there’s a big difference while here in Splatter Up it’s nearly impossible to get past a certain point without an upgrade in theory in Gem Bound you can make your way up to a very high point if you were good enough. The upgrades it sells is more to add to the experience rather then restricting you to pass a certain point until you played ‘X’ number of times.
However, pushing those annoyances aside, no pun intended, the game itself is actually fairly addicting. On a base level it actually takes some skill to learn how to hit each fruit just right, as each throw there’s a different fruit you have to hit differently; bananas, cantaloupes, strawberries, pineapples, raspberries, and the ever classic apples. Not to mention you’ll be pitched surge and dud balls when you get your score high enough, adding even more difficulty and randomness to the mix. Then there’s your visual treat for hitting the suit just right. If a suit manages to land itself in one of the several death traps it is rather exhilarating to see their pulpy innards gush out onto the kitchen counter. Obviously it’s not that detailed but it’s still fun to watch and I never get sick of watching it.
Now there seems to be a slight bug with some of the rolling effects. What I mean is when your fruit hits the ground after you hit it some fruits are able to roll on (except for pineapples because they are the WORST in the game) except when they hit the side of a blender. I have no idea why but whenever a fruit hits a blender the fruit freezes in mid air and then slowly makes it’s way down to the ground. I understand the designers don’t want the fruit to bounce backwards because, if I were playing that game I would be pissed every time I made an excellent shot and it happened to bounce back 100 feet because it bounced off a blender. But if there was just a smoother animation like maybe instead of the fruit just slowly sliding downwards it just splays against the side of the blender. Something along those lines would be better then this flow breaking mid air pause.
Guess that’s everything I wanted to talk about in detail so let’s wrap this up by saying that this game has its annoyances. the voice work becomes repetitive, it restricts gameplay, and it has some weird animation bugs. However despite that its still a relatively engaging game that balances skill and difficulty making the game a well balanced challenge. While I’m not a fan of the Annoying Orange anymore I can be honest and say the game may have its bad sides but overall I enjoyed playing it. If you can handle the Annoying Oranges “puntastic” voice work then I think that you will like Splatter Up.