January 23-2015
Hashstash goes retro with its third game ‘Splash Damage: Survive if you can’

After toying with circles in Circulets and matching hues in Heurons, Hashstash is all set to take you on a retro ride with its latest offering in Splash Damage: Survive if you can.

An endless arcade platformer, the game provides an intense gameplay requiring quick reflexes and pure survival instincts to stay alive as the pool of liquids at both the ends of the screen can lead to your end.

Speaking to AnimationXpress, Hashstash founder Kinshuk Sunil explains the concept behind the game, “As a studio we wanted the game to be simple and easy to play – and by easy I mean the mechanics of the game – and learning of the game does not have to be very difficult. We were looking at Liquid Fun and wanted to do a game around it. So we thought of a platformer where the player has to survive from drowning in two pools of liquids which are at either ends of the world.”

Not only are the liquids very realistic but also add to the game an extra element of difficulty other than the drowning factor. The liquid at the bottom gets absorbed by the cube like character and increases the weight which pulls it down, and the liquid above reduces the cube’s weight and makes it lighter. The objective of the game is to balance the weight just right and survive the longest, while also collecting power-ups on the way to enable longer survival.

Kinshuk adds, “The game was somewhat inspired by Bounce (the ball game that used to be in every Nokia device) but it is also very different. The liquids have a direct consequence on the player. The challenge is to maintain the balance between the two liquids and not gaining too much weight or losing too much. Gaining weight would pull you down much faster and your moves become sluggish and weight loss would hinder with your movements and maybe even draw you upwards. Surviving in the neutral zone is the challenge and you need to have sharp and quick reflexes for that.”

Blue liquid just keeps coming with the platforms that keep rolling up. So a player consumes a lot of blue liquid and has to balance it with the red liquid splashing from above accordingly. This was done intentionally to give the game an extra difficult angle. Power-ups will aid the player to survive longer in the game. But these may come at the cost of reaching certain objectives in the game.

Speaking about the art-style of the game, which has a very retro-istic art and reminds one of the 8-bit games that one used to play in the nineties; especially the colour scheme of blue, green and orange reminds one of Contra. “We hired an artist from UK, Mattews who has done some really beautiful art for the game and has been really fun to work with,” reveals Kinshuk.

The game was developed in the time span of eight months with 5 team members, two of which were from the 3 Quavers, who did the music for the game. Santosh from 3 Quavers expounds: “The idea behind the soundtrack was tune the sound to go with the art of the game and we started working on the sound on the very old software called, Famitracker – which is currently a dying software but wonderful to work on.”

On the thoughts of porting the game on android, Kinshuk ends: “The game is currently only available on iOS at a premium price tag and will be priced at $1.99 but is available for $0.99 on the opening weekend. Porting it on android is still something we are thinking about. A premium game on Android is a tough nut to crack, and also putting ads in the game will ruin the experience. So we just don’t want to rush into things just yet.”