Foamstars hands-on preview


When Foamstars was first revealed during the PlayStation showcase in May, many including myself were skeptical about the game. Some criticized it as Square Enix’s knock-off of Nintendo’s Splatoon. The colorful lights and Final Fantasy-esque graphics were appealing to some but the question still remained, how does it play?

The original trailer left a lot of questions up in the air. Would the game be solely focused on Player vs Player combat? How would Foamstars differentiate itself from Splatoon? Would there be a story mode to coincide with the gameplay and introduce the characters to the audience? These were just some of the questions we had before checking out the game at Summer Game Fest.

Square Enix at SGF

At Summer Game Fest, Square Enix had their own meeting place equipped with its own bar. On the campus, Square Enix was right next to Bandai Namco; even though Bandai Namco had a party going on all day to celebrate Tekken 8, Foamstars found a way to draw people over.

Square Enix was directly across from the lounge where anyone could get a much-needed coffee. Whether heading towards the lounge or leaving it, you could very easily notice bubbles floating through the air. These bubbles came from a foam gun that staff outside the building would shoot out or allow guests to shoot out.

Upon entering the building, it was clear that FoamStars was the primary focus of the Square Enix building. Upon walking in, you could see small game stations dedicated to Power Wash Simulator but towards them, you could easily see where Square Enix had dedicated a space to celebrate FoamStars. In the back past the bar was a game station set up with 2 sets of 4 monitors for media to play against one another.


FoamStars preview

After a video presentation about the goals of Foamstars, we were divided into two teams. Once the two teams were divided, players were given a minute to look between the characters and decide who they wanted to play.

For the demo, players could choose between a variety of characters each with their own weapon types and range. Each character has a set of special skills and a super ability; the super ability is unlocked once the player has laid out enough foam or taken out some enemies.

Within each match, each team is given seven respawns. Once all seven respawns are depleted, the player on the team that has done the best becomes the Star Player. It is up to your team to eliminate the Star Player in order to win the match. Eliminations within the game do not follow the standard shooter trope.

When a player’s health reaches zero, they fall to the ground covered in foam. While the player is down, the enemy has the ability to kill them by surfing up to them and hitting them; while the enemy is trying to knock out your teammate, you have the ability to save them by surfing into them.

Although foam is an important factor within the game, it is more of an assisting tool rather than defining factor. Foam is your ally but won’t determine if you win or lose the match outside of eliminating your enemies.

Enemies can build foam ramps to get a vantage point but if you are tactical, you can very easily play around that. Special abilities can very easily overpower enemies if used properly. From our time with the game, it shows that teamwork is an important factor in Foam Stars.

Hands-on time

During our Foamstars meeting, we played a best-of-five set of matches against other attendees. After the first three games, the set was decided with us beating our opponents 3 to 0 (Including Hip Hop Gamer). In the spirit of competition, we decided to play another two matches to give our opponents a chance at victory.

Sadly for them, they were not able to able to squeeze out a victory. In the final match, they came close to winning a match but I was made the Star Player and our team was able to come back and even the odds. Eliminating the other team’s star player as the Star Player was probably one of the most satisfying feelings you can get in the game.

Stacking the foam, surfing on the foam, and shooting enemies with foam all felt good. It did take a bit to get used to each character’s abilities and weapon ranges, but with practice, it became a lot easier. Having the ability to switch between characters allowed us to change up our play style and made for a more strategic approach when facing the enemy.

The environment looked beautiful even covered with foam. Sadly, for the demo, we only got to play on one level. Although it was pretty to look at, a change in venue would have been nice. The fact that you can be stuck in a foam ball can be a bit off-putting but the pace of the game makes it so you most likely won’t be down for long.

Personally, I am looking forward to playing Foamstars when it releases. The fact that the game is exclusive to PlayStation is a bit off-putting but will still give it a chance when it releases on PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5. If this game is free to play, it could be successful. If it releases with a $60 price tag, it will probably fail or die out quickly.

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Hardcore gaming enthusiast, cosplayer, streamer, Tall Anime lover (6ft 9), and a die-hard competitor. I have been a Pop-Culture Journalist since 2011 specializing in shooters, Pokemon, and RPGs.

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