The act of throwing a rock down a well is a childhood activity that most people superimpose into their memories, because, really, how many people have ever seen a real, working well? It's such a basic concept - take a rock, throw it down a well, hear a splash. That's really all there is to it. But, what if there was pizza down that well blocking the way? Or maybe there's a big fan slowing your rock down? What if the rock you were throwing wasn’t really a rock at all, and instead it's a Russian nesting doll? Those are the kinds of questions that developers Poi Soft are trying to answer in their newly localized 3DS eShop game "Kersploosh!"
Originally released in Japan as "Hyu-Stone," "Kersploosh!" attempts to tackle an entirely new video game genre - items falling down a well. The concept is extremely simple: use the circle pad to navigate your choice of falling objects (rocks, bouncy balls, watermelons, etc.) safely to the bottom of a well. Along the way there are various obstacles, and obstructions that will deplete your projectile's health, as well as add to your overall time. However, if you're on the look out for balloons and doughnuts you'll be able to replenish your health and get some much needed speed boosts, which will help you achieve your goal of hitting the water at the bottom of the well as quickly as possible.
The gameplay is fairly simple and easy to grasp on to, especially since the starter items (a durable rock and a bouncy ball with infinite health) help players to get their bearings in this odd title. As you progress through the game's ten different wells, the difficulty increases as more random obstructions appear in each well. There are also ten different projectiles that can be unlocked, each of which have different attributes for speed, boost, and health, making each run through with a new item a different experience.
Overall, the gameplay itself isn’t that deep, and the options don't vary too much, but for a $2.99 game, you're still going to get your money's worth, especially when you factor in the game's localization. Prior to tossing each item down the wells in the game, a faceless character sets up why they are throwing their stuff down the well. Each mini conversation is brief, but oddly entertaining as you're privy to tales like a shot putter giving up on his dreams of going to the Olympics as he tosses his iron ball down the hole.
Outside of the shallow gameplay, which can be overlooked due to the game's price point, there are a couple small flaws with the overall product that are likely to bother some players. For example, there's no way to advance to the next well after completing one - you always have to go back to the stone selection menu, or all the way back to the title screen. It's small, but at this point, advancing to the next level of a game should be a pretty obvious design choice.
"Kersploosh!" clearly isn’t the next big thing, but that doesn't mean that it isn't a unique way to waste some time on your 3DS. When you combine the seemingly random objects found in the wells, with the odd conversations that happen before each level, the game somehow manages to have a bit of a "Katamari Damacy" vibe to it. If you're looking for something new to experiment with, and you don’t want to spend too much money, "Kersploosh!" may well be worth your time, but if you're in the market for a game with a bit more depth, then you should probably search through some of the eShop's other excellent titles.