Foamstars First Impressions | Foaming with Potential

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Last week, Square Enix treated us to a 1-hour hands-on experience playing the upcoming party shooter Foamstars at their office in Shinjuku, Japan. While short, it didn’t take long for us to find out that this game definitely had potential to be a truly fun multiplayer party experience. Read on to see my Foamstars first impressions.

In this short session, the focus was on the 4v4 multiplayer mode where some of the people from the dev team along with me and the other SEA media present formed teams to go head-to-head as we explored 3 particular game modes – Smash the Star, Rubber Duck Party, and Happy Bath Survival. I’ll get into those modes more in a bit but first, a bit of premise.


Game Premise and Feel

Foamstars is primarily a 4v4 online party shooter. While the game does indeed have a PVE mode (which we weren’t able to experience during our session), the bread and butter of the game will really be with its PVP multiplayer mode. It’s also a hero shooter meaning that, depending on the character you select, you will have access to a gun type, various skills, and ultimate abilities. As of our session, we had a selection of 8 heroes – each with their own quirks and specialties. These heroes fight in battles all across Bath Vegas where foam is power because, not only does it help you eliminate characters, it also lets you shape the terrain of your battlefields.

Overall, the game’s aesthetic is amazingly vibrant and stylish. The party theme with Foamstars is quite strong and, if you pair that with the game’s soundtrack, it’s definitely quite the vibe and is genuinely fun. Like I honestly wish I got more time to listen to the game’s beats. Combine all that and you have a game that’s perfect for when you want to just have fun with friends or for those online party sessions.



If I were to sum it up, this game is FUN but definitely not perfect… or at least, not yet.

Let’s start off with characters. While I wasn’t able to play all of the characters due to the time restriction, I will say each of the characters I DID play definitely stood out from each other. For times that I wanted to play rather safe, Penny Gwyn provided some nice midrange gunplay with Assault Rifle and her bombs. If I needed to get up close and personal, Agito was a definite stand-out character for me as he had the ability to just dive into the field like a shark to basically do ambushes against enemies and just surprising them with point blanc shotgun shots. If I wanted to do a bit of distance play, Mel T was the type of character who could provide fire support from afar and just bombard the field while your teammates gunned them down at the front. Each of these characters were quite interesting to play as and I did see “try-hard” potential to mastering their kits. My one critique with the characters was I wish that there was a way to find out what each of the character’s hero skills WHILE you’re selecting them. At the time when we played, we could only really find out what our characters did when the battle started and had to read through their skills while sacrificing the first few seconds of the match. Especially for people who aren’t familiar with which unit does what, a way to see their skills before selecting them would’ve been nice. We were, however, told that this wouldn’t be the case for the final game.

Before I discuss the modes, let’s talk about the core gameplay mechanic. You enter the stage while foaming up the ground. While this isn’t like Splatoon where it matters how much of the ground you colored in your own foam, here it’s all about tactical advantage. You can walk / surf faster on foam that’s in your color. Aside from that, foam also builds up into terrain that you can use to your advantage, whether as obstacles or as ways to control the fight in particular parts of the map. I can honestly see that this is where the pro scene can really make a difference vs casual play as pros can most likely really make the most the terrain making abilities of foam. Of course, you can also aim your foam guns towards your enemies instead of the ground. Once an enemy takes enough damage, they become a foam ball that you can execute if you surf into them. Inversely, teammates of the foamed up player can surf into them to allow them to recover. Downed / “Chilled” players then respawn after some time until the match is done. It’s actually fairly simple and fun enough to Unga-Bunga as a casual but I do recognize that there is some depth to the game where if you actually take it to a more pro / calculated level, you can see some awesome high level matches.

Now, for the actual PVP game modes. Out of the 3, I liked Smash the Star the most, a close second would be Rubber Duck Party, and then Happy Bath Survival was the mode I liked the least. Smash the Star is a typical deathmatch-ish kind of game where you keep downing members of the opposite team and, after a certain amount of frags, a Star Player will be crowned in each team and will be marked in the map. Both Star Players will have increased health and damage making them sort of like a mini-boss of sorts. The first team to down the enemy Star Player wins the match. I loved this match as it starts off as guns blazing then gets tactical really quickly as you have to balance between attacking the enemy Star Player while defending your own. For Rubber Duck Party, this game was just fun and silly. A huge DJ Rubber Duck will spawn at the middle of the map and teams have to “capture” the duck by staying in its proximity while keeping the enemy team away. The duck will then start to inch towards the the enemy side. The team who gets to push the duck the furthest when time expires will win. This was quite the enjoyable mode as there’s so much strategy and fun that can be had amidst the chaos. Not only can you coordinate skills and ultimates to capture the duck, but you can even speed up / slow down the duck by foaming its path. As a final mechanic, you can climb on top of the duck and do a dance emote. Finish the dance completely without getting interrupted and the duck dashes forward. I swear, just the visual and chaos of this mode was enough to really hype me up. Finally, you have Happy Bath Survival where each team gets split into 2 teams of two – one inner team and one outer team. The inner team will engage in a 2v2 deathmatch with the other team while the outer team members will be off in a distance and above supporting the inner team with foam. Wasn’t that big a fan of this mode as being in the outer team didn’t really feel as fun. However, I will give it the benefit of the doubt as maybe there are more exciting ways to play as the outer team as we admittedly only played a match or 2 in this mode.


Overall Foamstars First Impressions

I can honestly say that Foamstars was fun to play and has the potential to be a really great game. Take note, I do say potential as the game may face the challenge of potentially getting old quite quickly if there isn’t much complexity that players can master upon launch. Of course, heroes and game modes may get added but I can really only say so much give how brief our time with the game was. Yes, the game succeeds at giving off a fun vibe but, hopefully, players discover more fun and tactical ways to face each game mode which will really extend the life of the game and make players warm up to it even more.

Foamstars releases on the PlayStation 4 and 5 on February 6, 2024 and will also be FREE for the PlayStation Plus immediately upon launch.