Escalation Studios have been the men behind the curtains of two great iPhone games, Dr. Awesome [99¢ / Free] published by ngmoco as well as Doom Resurrection [$1.99] published by id Software. Today they released Splode [99¢] on the App Store as the first game published under the Escalation Studios name. Splode has gameplay very similar to other chain reaction games like Sneezies [99¢ / Free / HD] in that you tap on the screen to start a reaction, and that reaction (if initiated properly) can clear the entire screen.

Like Sneezies, Splode has both a challenge mode where you try to clear a set number of splodes in one tap, and score attack mode where you can tap multiple times to see how many splodes you can explode. What sets Splode apart from similar games is the crazy amount of additional flourishes in the game, both in the musical and graphical departments.

The music begins almost spooky sounding with the game entirely in black and white. As your chain reaction involves more splodes, a series of flower buds that frame the screen open, and the scene slowly turns from night time and black and white to daytime and colorful. It's really a cool experience, and vaguely reminds me of the transition to color in The Wizard of Oz.

Splodes is launching at 99¢, is universal, and even has high resolution graphics for the Retina Display of the iPhone 4. One thing that is sorely lacking in Splodes is online leaderboards, something that I feel is almost mandatory for any high scoring game, and achievements would be awesome too. Even though the gameplay isn't that original, the experience of the music, ascending chords as the splodes explode, and the color changing mechanic is totally worth checking out if you enjoy simple but beautiful games.

TouchArcade Rating

  • Ultimate Zohan

    ZOHAN APPROVES.

    but PLEASe remove the gloss on the icon.

  • Ultimate Zohan

    ZOHAN APPROVES.

    but PLEASe remove the gloss on the icon.

  • Metalbear

    This looks wicked. I'm sure they will add leaderboards soon enough.

    (It's safe to say that Eli Hodapp has more control over my game choices that Blake Patterson :P)

  • Metalbear

    This looks wicked. I'm sure they will add leaderboards soon enough.

    (It's safe to say that Eli Hodapp has more control over my game choices that Blake Patterson :P)

  • Wintermut3

    TA is an awesome idevice gaming site. Keep up the great work. But please don't make a habit of criticising games for lack of "achievements". If game designers want to put them in, fine, but such artificial reward dog biscuit approaches to making games are just lazy examples of contemporary game design that don't need to be encouraged as a general rule. Thanks for your consideration. (Jonathan Blow has spoken eloquently about this. 99% of the time achievements are being used these days to cover up lack of an inherently fun videogame.)

    • http://scottcolbert.com ScottC

      To be fair, he was criticizing the lack of leaderboards, and only saying achievements would b a nice addition. I do agree with you though and think nine times of ten achievements generally try and hide medicore gameplay. Unfortunately once the genies is out of the bottle its hard to get it back in.

    • estyst

      thanks for being voice of reason - good game don't need to have achievements to be both playable and enjoyable

    • Eli Hodapp

      The fact of the matter is that by and large gamers like achievements, regardless of what Jonathan Blow thinks. Besides, my point was that the game needs online leaderboards and if they add OpenFeint or Plus+, they might as well throw in some fun achievements while they're at it. ;)

      • mgabrys

        Super Mario with achievements:

        Run right ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED!
        Jump ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED!
        Run left ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED!
        You walked into a pipe ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED!

        Gag - blow me. ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED!

  • Wintermut3

    TA is an awesome idevice gaming site. Keep up the great work. But please don't make a habit of criticising games for lack of "achievements". If game designers want to put them in, fine, but such artificial reward dog biscuit approaches to making games are just lazy examples of contemporary game design that don't need to be encouraged as a general rule. Thanks for your consideration. (Jonathan Blow has spoken eloquently about this. 99% of the time achievements are being used these days to cover up lack of an inherently fun videogame.)

    • http://scottcolbert.com ScottC

      To be fair, he was criticizing the lack of leaderboards, and only saying achievements would b a nice addition. I do agree with you though and think nine times of ten achievements generally try and hide medicore gameplay. Unfortunately once the genies is out of the bottle its hard to get it back in.

    • estyst

      thanks for being voice of reason - good game don't need to have achievements to be both playable and enjoyable

    • Eli Hodapp

      The fact of the matter is that by and large gamers like achievements, regardless of what Jonathan Blow thinks. Besides, my point was that the game needs online leaderboards and if they add OpenFeint or Plus+, they might as well throw in some fun achievements while they're at it. ;)

      • mgabrys

        Super Mario with achievements:

        Run right ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED!
        Jump ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED!
        Run left ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED!
        You walked into a pipe ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED!

        Gag - blow me. ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED!

  • cranker

    Leaderboards please !!!

  • cranker

    Leaderboards please !!!

  • Lang

    How about an iDevice-friendly embedded YouTube vid?

    • FlashSucks

      That bugs me too, I browse with plug-ins disabled to prevent websites from crashing Safari. Enabling plug-ins, reloading the page to watch the video, then disabling plug-ins again... it's annoying especially when I know it doesn't have to be this way.

    • scamper

      Yup, I was just thinking the same thing. I suppose it's up to YouTube to make the iOS-compatible video available, but it's a real bummer to be reading an iOS-centric site and to be denied so cruelly whilst browsing on an iOS device.

    • http://www.escalationstudios.com/ Kixorz

      Check out http://www.splodegame.com/ for device-friendly embedded video :)

  • Lang

    How about an iDevice-friendly embedded YouTube vid?

    • FlashSucks

      That bugs me too, I browse with plug-ins disabled to prevent websites from crashing Safari. Enabling plug-ins, reloading the page to watch the video, then disabling plug-ins again... it's annoying especially when I know it doesn't have to be this way.

    • scamper

      Yup, I was just thinking the same thing. I suppose it's up to YouTube to make the iOS-compatible video available, but it's a real bummer to be reading an iOS-centric site and to be denied so cruelly whilst browsing on an iOS device.

    • http://www.escalationstudios.com/ Kixorz

      Check out http://www.splodegame.com/ for device-friendly embedded video :)

  • wegmans

    Bought it, pretty fun on the iPad! Great graphics, but it should be emphasized further that this is a very simple game. Probably one of those easy to piay, hard to get good at games. I bet it would be popular with kids

  • wegmans

    Bought it, pretty fun on the iPad! Great graphics, but it should be emphasized further that this is a very simple game. Probably one of those easy to piay, hard to get good at games. I bet it would be popular with kids

  • HyphyCus

    So basically another app copying another one...

  • HyphyCus

    So basically another app copying another one...

  • Bruno

    Way worst than Sneezies. Actualy, I do not recommend the game at all.

    Boring as hell, weird physics, boring sound.....you got the point.

    Cheers,

  • Bruno

    Way worst than Sneezies. Actualy, I do not recommend the game at all.

    Boring as hell, weird physics, boring sound.....you got the point.

    Cheers,

  • Anonymous

    Agreed. This game needs leaderboards and achievements! There's not much to this game... achievements are almost necessary just to add to the drive to continue.

  • Anonymous

    Agreed. This game needs leaderboards and achievements! There's not much to this game... achievements are almost necessary just to add to the drive to continue.

  • http://tv-rip.com kushykush

    no openfeint? laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaame

  • http://tv-rip.com kushykush

    no openfeint? laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaame

  • http://www.impaktstudios.com mark

    looks like a cheap rip off of the fantastic OSMOS to me, only made kidyfied. Poor

    • Eli Hodapp

      The game has literally nothing in common with Osmos aside from the fact that the objects in both games are circular... And that's a pretty common shape.

    • Nausicaa

      tl,dr??

      gtfo.

  • http://www.impaktstudios.com mark

    looks like a cheap rip off of the fantastic OSMOS to me, only made kidyfied. Poor

    • Eli Hodapp

      The game has literally nothing in common with Osmos aside from the fact that the objects in both games are circular... And that's a pretty common shape.

    • Nausicaa

      tl,dr??

      gtfo.

  • James

    Should I get this or Sneezies? Which has more content?

    • James

      Anyone?

  • James

    Should I get this or Sneezies? Which has more content?

    • James

      Anyone?

  • Nausicaa

    I bought the game and enjoy it a great deal. People complain to much for a game which cost them less than a bottle of soda. Certainly leaderboards would be a nice addition for the score attack mode.

    The game has a highly refined look and feel, and I quite enjoy the artwork and music. The game uses visual and musical cues to reward you for 'sploding the splodes, which is a nice idea. Gameloft kiddies might find the game boring, but I think it's a pretty much perfect $0.99 title. Beautiful, fun, and oddly captivating that you won't want to put it down.

  • Nausicaa

    I bought the game and enjoy it a great deal. People complain to much for a game which cost them less than a bottle of soda. Certainly leaderboards would be a nice addition for the score attack mode.

    The game has a highly refined look and feel, and I quite enjoy the artwork and music. The game uses visual and musical cues to reward you for 'sploding the splodes, which is a nice idea. Gameloft kiddies might find the game boring, but I think it's a pretty much perfect $0.99 title. Beautiful, fun, and oddly captivating that you won't want to put it down.

  • Cyph

    To the Devs:

    German localization makes this game nearly unplayable, somethings are totally wrong, even having contrary meaning!

    If you want me to translate the game for free, email me at cyphersuit at web.de

    Right now it's really a disaster, especially because we germans can not switch to the original language.

    Cyph

    • Steve-O

      You Germans are still paying the price of WWII.

    • http://www.escalationstudios.com Tetrad

      Thanks for the feedback Cyph. We'll be taking that into account for the next updates.

  • Cyph

    To the Devs:

    German localization makes this game nearly unplayable, somethings are totally wrong, even having contrary meaning!

    If you want me to translate the game for free, email me at cyphersuit at web.de

    Right now it's really a disaster, especially because we germans can not switch to the original language.

    Cyph

    • Steve-O

      You Germans are still paying the price of WWII.

    • http://www.escalationstudios.com Tetrad

      Thanks for the feedback Cyph. We'll be taking that into account for the next updates.

  • asbjoern

    I really enjoyed this on my iPad. I would properly not calsify this as a game, since as you get to the higher levels it seems to be more a matter of change than one of skill. Never the less the audio visual feel of this game is awesome.

    And for this kind of game I don't really see why you need achievements.

  • asbjoern

    I really enjoyed this on my iPad. I would properly not calsify this as a game, since as you get to the higher levels it seems to be more a matter of change than one of skill. Never the less the audio visual feel of this game is awesome.

    And for this kind of game I don't really see why you need achievements.