Earlier this week some of the Gaming Nexus crew gathered round our PlayStation 5’s to check out Square Enix’s new live service third-person shooter Foamstars. If you’ve ever played Splatoon, you will recognize one of Foamstars’ biggest inspirations at first glance. I hopped in alongside Elliot, Eric, and Joseph from our very own team of stars, playing matches mostly in the main Smash the Star mode. Foamstars boasts a laid back vibe with bright colors, poppy music, and flamboyant characters. Here there are no kills, only “chills”, and they aren’t called matches, they’re “parties”.
The 4v4 shooter swaps ink for foam, which has a clever mechanic that allows you to pile up foam to both create barricades but also vantage points that you can climb (surf) to the top of. Matches, excuse me, parties, typically begin with both teams spewing loads of foam across the maps, which have a Las Vegas-themed aesthetic. Foam is how you maneuver around the map the fastest but is also your weapon’s ammunition.
There are eight characters available at launch, each with unique weapons and skills. Weapons are all riffs on traditional shooter armaments like assault rifles, shotguns, flamethrowers, and rocket launchers, only the rocket launchers in Foamstars shoot ice cream cones, which is kind of adorable. In Smash the Star, blasting the opposing partiers with enough foam will make them “foamed up”, which sees them rolling around in a ball of the sudsy stuff waiting either for a teammate to save them, or an enemy to chill them. Once each team has chilled enough opposing players, one player becomes the star. Eliminating that star player means victory for your team, or defeat, if your star goes down first. Parties devolve into chaos (as they sometimes do) and at times there is so much happening on screen you have no idea what is going on. With everyone shooting their foam all over the place, that is somewhat expected, but these old eyes did struggle at times differentiating what was what.
After Eric went all Leroy Jenkins in the very first match, being the MVP of the party, we were puffing our chests a bit. We still picked up a few more wins, but lost our fair share as well. Finding a character with a weapon and skills you like is important early on. Each has two primary skills, and a superstar skill that can be a real game changer. I found myself enjoying a character called Barristador the most – his superstar skill whips up a steaming hot pot of foam that rains down on enemy party poopers. I bounced off a couple of the other characters, and I would imagine that you will gravitate towards one or two.
As you progress, you will unlock additional cosmetic items for characters and new game modes. This is a live service game, so naturally there are premium items you can purchase, and truthfully, some are crazy expensive. I saw packs for north of $40, and there were multiple of those. Nothing appeared pay-to-win, however, so you can totally enjoy the game without spending that sort of cash.
You can see how Square Enix intends to support the game moving forward, with new characters, modes, and cosmetics. If you think highly of Splatoon, Foamstars might be your thing. Luckily, if you are a PlayStation Plus Essential subscriber (that’s the base PS Plus), you can download Foamstars right now on both PS5 and PS4 for nothing more than the cost of your subscription. After it’s period on PS Plus, it will be available a la carte for $29.99.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.
Jason has been writing for Gaming Nexus since 2022. Some of his favorite genres of games are strategy, management, city-builders, sports, RPGs, shooters, and simulators. His favorite game of all-time is Red Dead Redemption 2, logging nearly 1,000 hours in Rockstar's Wild West epic. Jason's first video game system was the NES, but the original PlayStation is his first true video game love affair. Once upon a time, he was the co-host of a PlayStation news podcast, as well as a basketball podcast.View Profile