When you think of big, bright colours and shooting, you probably think of one of two things — paintball, or Splatoon. Well, last year, Square Enix unveiled its “online party shooter” Foamstars, and almost immediately, the internet reacted, comparing the colourful foam-shooting game to the inky king of the colours.
Today, in an interview with VGC, the producer of the upcoming online game Kosuke Okatani suggested that he’d like those comparisons to end as the game is something “completely different”. Upon being asked whether “he’s bored of comparisons” to the massively popular ink-based shooter from Nintendo. Okatani’s first reaction was to laugh, and say “First of all, yes,” but there’s a bit more to it than that.
The producer has been noticing reactions to the game from the press and public — following an open beta a few months ago — and they’ve been largely positive. “There have been many comparisons on the internet,” Okatani starts ” but also, we saw on social media that the people who actually played it saw that it’s a completely different game”.
VGC lays it out more like a hero shooter, where all of the characters have their own skill sets. You’re also not trying to cover the arena in the most amount of colour, and your colourful foam can actually “reshape the environment”, according to VGC. To this point, Okatani reiterates that Foamstars is very much its own thing, stating that he feels “like the mechanic of having the things you shoot stay on the field is very unique,”. So, not that much like Splatoon at all, really!
Not only has Square Enix been combatting those Splatoon comparisons, but the Japanese developer has also confirmed to VGC that the game contains some AI-generated art.
While producer Okani does state that “the core elements in Foamstars” are all handmade, he says that the company did want to experiment with AI. This is limited to in-game art for some of the game’s fictional bands and in-universe music. “…this makes up about 0.01% or even less, but we have dabbled in it by creating these icons in the game.”
Okani continues: “We experimented with Midjourney using simple prompts to produce abstract images. We loved what was created and used them as the final album covers players will see in the game.” given that Square Enix president recently stated that the company wants to be “aggressive in applying AI and other cutting-edge technologies”, this isn’t too surprising, but AI is a hot-button issue in the industry right now, and some fans may not take too kindly to its use in the game, even in a minimal way.
Don’t forget, Splatoon is pretty famous for having its own in-universe idols and music, with all of the groups’ album covers being created in-house by the team at Nintendo. And they’re all amazing.
We know Foamstars isn’t destined for Switch, but we’ve been curious about the shooter since its reveal in 2023 thanks to those initial comparisons. We searched it out back at Summer Game Fest last year and came away surprised and relieved that Foamstars seems to be carving out its own niche in an admittedly crowded genre.
What do you think of those Splatoon comparisons with Foamstars? Will you be trying the game up on PS Plus, or sticking to the ink? Bubble down in the comments.