As the weeks go by, Google Stadia always receives fresh games and expands its catalog. Even if these are already known titles, there is no shortage of news and, above all, the exclusive thunderstorm known as “First on Stadia”. Among the latter appears HandyGames’ Spitlings, an arcade platformer designed specifically for co-op, but which also offers a good amount of solo levels. Here is my Spitlings review for Google Stadia.
ONE WORD: SIMPLE
The idea behind HandyGames’ Spitlings is very simple. You are a square little monster inside a level consisting of a single screen and you must destroy all the bouncing spheres that move around you. To do this, it is necessary to spit up or down and this is also used to activate the jump function.
Obviously the number of bullets is limited, and it is therefore necessary to avoid shooting randomly, aiming rather at precision. For reloading, it is possible to recover the already launched projectiles that remain in the environment, or you can stop on the spot and reload your spit charge slowly. The bouncing balls will eliminate you at single contact, forcing you to start again.
By destroying them, they also divide into smaller spheres and increase the targets and chaos around you. It is also important to know that, if you play in a group, the death of one person causes the game to end for everyone. If you want to use it as a party game, be prepared to repeat the levels a lot. This type of situation can be fun or frustrating depending on how your team approaches the levels.
It is therefore a very simple game, basically based on directional arrows and three keys. However, there are a number of peculiarities that enhance the overall game action. For example, there is a gelatinous substance in which the Spitlings can swim, but on which the spheres bounce. Your spit also freezes for a few seconds, allowing you to create traps.
The bullets, in fact, continue to do damage as long as they are in motion, therefore they can be used as a weapon in many ways. Another example is the bouncing platforms, where the blows will continue to jump up and down for some time, creating a barrier on which the spheres will be destroyed.
THE WILL TO CONTINUE
They divided the game into regions which introduce new mechanics and therefore always make the experience different, which however always proves to be very fast. Each level is divided into three screens and, when completed, a new Spitling is unlocked. Finishing each screen within a time limit imposed by the game, you get a second Spitling.
It is, mind you, only a skin, an additional aspect that does not make any difference in the gameplay. Beyond the pure will to complete a challenge, there is no substantial reason to continue the game and repeat the levels. Once all are completed, you enter a higher level of difficulty, but the principal point does not change.
The problem in HandyGames’ Spitlings is everywhere the same: the strong sense of repetitiveness and the lack of incentives to continue. While introducing new small mechanics, the gameplay is always the same: shoot down and up. Your opponents are just lifeless bouncing balls and enemies don’t have a movement pattern to learn. Victory or death generally comes in a matter of seconds.
Simply put, playing alone will tend to bore many players. As already mentioned, in fact, it is a game designed primarily for the co-op. As far as online is concerned, unfortunately there is no matchmaking function, and it is therefore necessary to have friends on the list and invite them.
I noticed while doing my Spitlings review for Google Stadia that on a technical level there is nothing to complain about: the game is responsive and the input lag is minimal. As far as the visual aspect is concerned, Spitlings does not impress much. Simplicity is fundamental to make the action clear and not to create obstacles, but we are still talking about a game with a limited design.
While not lacking in some finesse, when it comes to balance, the gameplay is basically a couple of actions repeated over and over again. Wanting to complete every single level in a record time is more than enough to keep you busy for a while, but there is really no reason to go to the end. The biggest shortcoming however is online matchmaking, which, unfortunately, limits the cooperative experience behind Spitlings.
Do you want to try HandyGames’ Spitlings? What do you think of my Spitlings review for Google Stadia? Please Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Are you interested in Spitlings and Google Stadia? Click here to read Adam Stewart’s opinion article about ditching your console or PC for the Google Stadia.