Is “Splatoon-like” a thing now?
During the PlayStation Showcase this week, Square Enix chose the event to reveal PlayStation exclusive Foamstars, a colorful 4v4 multiplayer game in which players launch a sticky substance and hope to win matches.
Sticky substances (get your mind out of the gutter).
Does that sound familiar?
Well, it’s Square Enix’s take on Splatoon, or at least the sub genre of accessible team-based multiplayer shooters that focus on happy, bright experiences. In Foamstars players and teams use their weapons to create foam that covers territory and can be surfed around on, while also being used to build lite structures that can be used as vantage points or defense. It seems like a standard fare at this point, and that’s possibly because it’s become a sort of formula for these kinds of games. Goop + pop culture + 4v4 multiplayer.
The first similar game after Splatoon was released was probably Crayola Scoot, which arrived in 2018. It was… not good. At all. It was bad. It featured players dropping colors in skate parks and skateboarding around on it. That’s it!
The next was Ninjala, which finally launched in 2020. The game was much more Splatoon-like at its inception, focusing on bubble gum and weapons that shoot bubble gum. It ended up going Free to Play on the Switch, and season passes, single player stories, and a surprisingly thriving community that’s still playing it years later. It’s actually fairly enjoyable.
But, like, there’s Splatoon, and Splatoon is still so, so good. Splatoon 3 outsold its predecessors and became one of the biggest launches ever in Japan, which is a monumental accomplishment for the once small IP.
Foamstars may be the latest, but it’s certainly not the first. It’ll be interesting to see if it can actually make something of itself when it arrives in the future for PS4 & PS5 (no date available yet).