Split! (iOS) Review
Publisher: E-One Studio
Developer: Touchy Interactive
Genre: Strategy Puzzle
Split! is a puzzle platforming game recently released on iTunes for 4th generation iPods, iPhones, and all versions of the iPad. In Split you take control of two characters named Red and Blue and try to lead them through various mazes as they attempt to escape from prison. There isn’t much of an actual story, but it’s an iOS game. You don’t need a reason or motivation to play it.
Split is divided up between 3 different difficulty sets with ten levels each, and a highly recommended tutorial to teach you how to play. Each level is a large grid with various guards placed around the level with the sole objective of killing you on sight. You take control of Red and Blue and drag your finger across the map to control each character individually. Each level is viewed from a top-down bird’s eye view which allows you to see a large portion of each map, although not the entire map.
The key to the game is your tactical position, since the game utilizes cover-based gameplay. Both your characters and the enemies will automatically hide behind cover whenever they’re being shot at in order to ensure their survival. You’ll need to utilize teamwork between Red and Blue in order to gain a tactical advantage on the enemy where you can shoot them while they’re behind cover. You can also use your placement to draw enemies out of cover, or get behind enemies and gain a melee kill for additional points.
Each level can take anywhere from a couple of minutes to up to 10 minutes to beat, with three “star” boxes hidden in each level for additional points and collectables. The biggest problem with Split is the heavy reliance on trial-and-error in order to beat each level. The later levels become so difficult that it’s nearly impossible to beat a level without trying several different things before you find a combination that works. It wouldn’t be a big issue if it wasn’t for the lack of checkpoints mid-level. Each time one of your characters dies you have to restart each level from the beginning. It can be extremely frustrating when one of your characters goes slightly off your drawn path and gets a cheap death.
Split features a Dubstep soundtrack from DJ Syko G, which is the most unique aspect of the game. All the levels share the same template and all of the enemies look the exact same. It can make the game tedious and boring but the Dubstep soundtrack helps add excitement to the game and can make for some great listening tunes, assuming you don’t completely hate the bass-dropping genre.
– Interesting gameplay relying on using tactical positioning with two characters.
– Drawing a path with your fingers works as a great control scheme.
– Beating a level is rewarding.
– There’s a free version for people who want to try before they buy.
– Dubstep soundtrack is pretty good.
– The environments and enemies look the same.
– Cheap deaths can be very frustrating.
– The game can be broken down to trial-and-error in later levels.
– Lack of mid-level checkpoints.
– The game is overly difficult.
Split can be a lot of fun to play, and it’s very rewarding when you actually beat a level. You get a great sense of accomplishment that’s missing from a lot of iOS games. The Dubstep helps break up some of the repetition and is just generally enjoyable to listen to. The problem is that while the game is a unique and interesting concept, the game is just overly difficult, forcing players to rely on trial-and-error in later levels. It can be very frustrating when you have to replay an entire level because the last enemy killed one of your guys through a cheap death 9 minutes into a level. Split is a fun diversion, but make sure to try out the free version before you commit to a full purchase.