Developer: Bumble3ee Interactive
Genre: Puzzler, Platformer
Platform: Nintendo Switch (Also available on Xbox One, Playstation 4 and PC)
Age Rating: PEGI 3
Release Date: 21/04/2021
A code was provided for review purposes.
Inter-dimensional puzzling isn’t new to video games, but there’s something about World Splitter’s take on it that just feels so satisfying. Having a screen split into two different worlds with the player able to constantly change up the split-ratio to traverse each challenge they offer? It just works.
Does it bring with it enough longevity and variety to keep players immersed in the adventure, though? Read our review to find out.
World Splitting for beginners
World Splitter’s gameplay revolves around a dimensional rift, with each level presented with multiple layouts that work in tandem with one another. The player has to switch between these layouts in order to progress, but there’s a twist. You won’t just press a button and flip back and forth between them, but have to *split* the level in order to hop between dimensions.
Have I lost you? It’s really not as complicated as I’ve made it sound (though looking at the screenshots will help). The player uses the right stick to move the inter-dimensional rift, which acts as a divider through the level. You can move and rotate this divider how you please, with each side of the divider offering a different level layout. One layout may have platforms where the other has a deadly hazard for example, whilst one might have a clear path to the exit, the other is blocked off. The player can then run and jump between each dimension, with some clever thinking and some quick inter-dimensional tinkering essential to your progress.
It’s one of those gameplay mechanics that can sound a little baffling in words but practically works really well. Levels are cleverly designed to embrace constant dimension-shifting, whilst new mechanics are introduced to add some variety. You can expect to have to use switches, evade enemies, alter gravity, and even use portals by the end. These extra innovations ensure that World Splitter’s core mechanic doesn’t grow stale across the sixty levels, but instead keeps the player challenged.
World Splitter? More like brain splitter!
Sometimes, there can be TOO much of a challenge. World Splitter can be tough, so juggling each trick it throws your way with the dimension-shifting can get taxing. And you can’t forget about your inter-dimensional spatial awareness; you might be safe in one dimension, but a quick shift over can see you plummeting to your demise. It means players really have to think each level through, because one wrong move can lead to death. For the most part, it’s just a case of planning ahead, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t find it frustrating at times.
Despite this challenge, I still had a lot of fun playing through World Splitter’s levels. The aforementioned variety ensures there’s plenty of different things to do throughout each one, whilst hitting that sweet spot with the dimensional-shifting ALWAYS felt satisfying. There’s plenty of ingenuity in the level design, and it’s rewarding to figure out what exactly you need to do. There is always more than one way to take advantage of the dimensional shifting in the game after all, and it made for a ton of ‘eureka!’ moments.
There are plenty of additional objectives in each level for players who want more of a challenge. There are creatures to find that are in hard to reach areas for those who like hunting collectables, and there’s also a time-trial and rift rotation limit for those who really want to test their skills. They’re all optional, but it will certainly extend the four-hour playtime trying to clear them.
Why not play World Splitter with a friend?
One interesting addition comes with the local co-op where two players control characters and rifts. It isn’t the most fleshed-out aspect of the game (there are only ten levels), but it offers a neat way to experience World Splitter’s puzzles from another perspective. Hopefully, there’ll be more levels released in the future – it was cool to play it with a friend.
Presentation-wise, World Splitter looks fine, albeit a little simple in design. Whilst levels were pretty enough, there wasn’t anything about the worlds you traverse across that felt particularly eye-catching or memorable. They do their job of adding colour to experience, but that’s about it. The sound design was nothing to write home about either, with the melodies fitting the vibe of the adventure but not standing out.
Whilst I enjoyed my time playing through the game, I do think it’s a little overpriced. £17.99 is quite a hefty fee, especially for something that I was done with in less than five hours. Sure, there are the optional objectives to come back for that will extend your playtime (if you can survive the tough challenge), but I don’t think it offers enough bang for your buck – especially since there are better puzzlers available on the Nintendo Switch right now for much less.
World Splitter’s inter-dimensional puzzling is clever and fun, though the challenging difficulty could prove a little frustrating in places. I couldn’t help but to think it was a bit pricey too, especially since there are similar (and better) titles on the Nintendo Switch for much cheaper.
Still, with its crafty level design and varied mechanics, World Splitter offers plenty to keep puzzling plans hooked in. Just expect a few brain-splitting moments as you try to unravel each of its perplexing dimension-shifting conundrums!
4 out of 5
You can purchase World Splitter for £17.99 on the Nintendo eShop
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.