Splix.io is a free game you can enjoy from the comfort of your phone or desktop. In Splix, you control a colourful snake as you draw lines across a grey grid, completing squares to fill them with blocks of your snake's colour and "capture" territory. All the while, other players will do the same!
Jockeying for position
The moment you start playing Splix.io, you'll notice a leaderboard in the top-right corner. The players with the ten highest scores are shown there, names and all. It could be said that the real goal of Splix is to get on this leaderboard, and to do that, you capture blocks with your squares – one block is one point, and the highest person on the leaderboard might have 4,000 or 5,000. Time to get cracking!
The main attraction and the main challenge of Splix, though, is controlling your territory: keeping it large, and making sure other players don't infringe on it. The best way to do this is to take them out of the game. The tutorial simply tells you "don't get hit by other players", and this can work, but if you hit other players, you get 500 points – directly equivalent to 500 blocks...
Hedging away the hedge maze
As noted, a patterned line trails behind your snake until you complete a square and capture blocks. This patterned line is vulnerable, meaning if a player runs into it before you complete a square (turning it and the blocks within it into your territory), you die! This forces you to start from your tiny, original 5x5 grid. Best to avoid that!
To do that, you want to make smaller squares. When another player is nearby, it becomes a frenetic battle of loop-de-loops, attempting to avoid showing any vulnerability without losing more blocks than you gain. To fight on the defensive, you can hide in your existing territory, where you are invulnerable, but if you do this, your enemy can pursue you into it and capture your blocks with little fear! Of course, if they do this, you can punish them for overextending into your territory, where you can choose to attack or retreat freely...
While this mechanic is great overall, though, there is one warning to be had: you can occasionally start right next to someone with a huge number of blocks who's primed to run into you a moment later! This can result in your death or theirs, and seems frustrating on either end. To best enjoy the game, take early defeats in stride, and always go big for your first capture or two: after all, if you die, you only have your starting block to lose!
Slither fast, die hard
Overall, Splix.io is a fun game, great when played both as a brief distraction or as an hour-long attempt to put your name at the top. The dearth of offensive names and the game's polished appearance both make it a good show, too. As long as you're conscious of the game's newness and don't mind a little lag for that reason, you'll have oodles of fun with Splix.io.