Splash Cars is a very simple arcade game that I found just clicked. Your exhaust fumes are paint in Splash Cars and you have to paint as much of the monochrome world back into colour before your car conks out. Easy to pick up, plenty of single player content and some multiplayer battles to boot. It’s a tidy package with a very reasonable price.
Each of the 25 levels is an isometric monochrome level that is painted back to life as your drive around it. You are constantly using fuel though so you have to pick up fuel tokens to keep going and coins for your bank balance. You’ll be trying to cross a certain percentage of colour threshold to unlock new cars and levels but even if you don’t your mileage also unlocks bonuses to unlock things in other ways. It means every play gives you progression.
Splash Cars is really easy to play with steering related to where your car is pointed rather than globally always pressing left to go to the left of the screen. As you drive around you’ll be chased by police cars who will ram you into submission and cause damage. If you don’t run out of fuel first, you’ll reach 100% damage and conk out. You can outrun them by slaloming around the houses and posts but I really liked the fact the police cars seem to know alternative routes around the maps to find other ways to chase you. It makes them feel more alive rather than just mindless chasing and giving up all the time.
To even things out you have powerups too. You can have a boost, grow bigger (to cover more ground), change into a police car, freeze the police cars or turn into a giant tank firing paint balls! The other quick is that road sweepers and tractors roam around levels wiping your paint away again. However you can splash them with paint and then they join in on your side, helping paint where they go. Just don’t crash into them or they respawn as monochrome painters again.
Whilst I spent most of my time on the single player experience, I think many will have much more fun in multiplayer where its a paint battle to see who can paint the most area. It’s good fun and reminds me of Splatoon and more recently Crayola Scoot. Good fun but even better would have been a couple of different modes or arrangements around the painting.
More surprisingly, Splash Cars is available as Pay What You Want on Itch.io. I happily paid the standard price on Steam and don’t feel overcharged so I recommend you grabbing the bargain directly from the developer if you can. It’s a really concise gaming experience that knows what it wants and nails the gameplay of its trick. Will you be playing it for hours at a time? No. I have been picking it up regularly for a quick ten minutes daily though and it’s definitely going into my multiplayer rotation as a great palette cleanser.
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