Foamstars is nothing but trapped GaaS
09.02.2024 - 23:41
The video game industry is one that has been built on trends. If a game reaches escape velocity and becomes a big hit, it’s inevitable that others will be lining up to get a slice of that turkey. This has had some unfortunate consequences.
For some formulas, there’s plenty of room in the market for pretenders. Consumer hunger may wane over time, but genres like open-world, survival, RPG, or fighting have always had an audience. However, this doesn’t hold true with Games as a Service, whether it’s subscriptions or microtransactions. Publishers rushed into the MMO market following the explosive success of World of Warcraft, and now we have a trail of very expensive corpses littering the past two decades.
But investors never learn. So, in order to drum up some excitement, publishers from all over are trying to jump on the bandwagon, and there’s a tinge of schadenfreude watching so many hollow efforts fail.
Which brings us to Foamstars. I’ve most likely already given away how I feel about it.
Honestly, I went into Foamstars with as open a mind as I could muster. I like Splatoon. Foamstars obviously lifts heavily from Nintendo’s multiplayer shooter. It could be a good time.
You play as a hip young person who has the ability to squirt foam. They have harnessed this unique ability to fight crime and also participate in a competition to see who is the best foam squirter. Each event is a 4v4 affair but in different configurations. One has the team split into combatants and supporters (Happy Bath Survival, which is a great name), another has you whittle down the team’s life stock (Smash the Star), and another is pretty much just Tower Control from Splatoon (Rubber Duck Party.)
The big difference between Foamstars foam and Splatoon’s ink is that the foam can stack into colorful mounds of cryptid fluid, which works… okay. There’s no analog to Splatoon’s classic Turf War match style, so the foam is mostly functional. You can still surf across your team’s foam, just like, well, you get the idea.
To knock out an opponent, you have to deplete their health bar, at which point they’ll be encased in a cocoon of froth. You can then surf into them to claim the “chill” (because foam is about love, not war), or a teammate can free them.
While Foamstars wears its influence on its sleeve, it does enough to differentiate itself from Splatoon. A match in each feels similar but not quite the same. If that’s not enough, you can tell the difference because Foamstar’s personality feels entirely forced.
There are six characters to choose from, with one unlockable through gameplay and the other through money. Okay, that’s not entirely true; Mel T can be unlocked by raising your Season Tier up to 31, which doesn’t seem impossible