FOAMSTARS Preview: Square Enix Strikes Again with Unexpected Win

Summer Game Fest Gets Foamy


FOAMSTARS is the newest take on a Splatoon-like battle from Square Enix. We saw the title at Summer Game Fest this year, and it looks like Nintendo might have some competition on their hands. 

Though most competitive shooters move fast, there is absolutely no time for stealth or even strategizing in FOAMSTARS. Once you jump into a match with your team, it is full speed ahead, whether you’re ready or not. FOAMSTARS pits two teams of four against each other, using their weapons to coat the battlefield in foam. You can run or surf your way around the map, but surfing is the fastest method, so long as you’re surfing on your own team’s colour. 


If you get caught in the opposing team’s foam, you will become encased in it. From here, there are two options. A teammate can rush you, surfing into you, releasing you from the foam, OR your enemies can do the same, knocking you out of the match. In the mode we played, the first team to seven knockouts won.

FOAMSTARS is surprisingly hard to follow and will absolutely take some trial and error before you can master the field. There are eight playable characters to choose from: Soa, Jet Justice, Tonix, Agito, Pen Gwyn, Mel T, The Baristador, and Rave Breaker. Each one has four unique characteristics, two skills, one Super Star Skill and their weapon type. 

Super Star Skills need to be charged up, which can take quite a while if you’re constantly being knocked out. Mel T fires a high-powered foam laser, Tonix summons a robot for an airstrike from above, and Agito fires a shark torpedo at their enemies. The skills are nothing if not entertaining. Regular skills include foam grenades and acrobatic jumps from Soa, waves of foam from Jet Justice, a bubble-foam path from Pen Gwyn and The Baristador and stealth bubbles from Rave Breaker. 


Each character has their own weapon as well, like the Burst Rifle from Tonix, Dual Pistols from Soa, or a Long Hose from the Baristador. The characters also have their own setbacks, meaning you will need to weigh the risks vs rewards for each one. This could mean things like Mel T’s Rocket Launcher, which is incredibly powerful but takes longer than others to reload. There are plenty of options depending on your playstyle but be prepared to go down if you’re learning as you go in a match.

“FOAMSTARS’ first to seven happens very quickly, and comebacks are definitely possible.”

In our mode, there was also a “Star Player” market in each match, who was the MVP of the game, so to speak. This player would have increased buffs, so if they’re on your team, you want to stay close and protect them, but if you’re on the opposite team, then you want to do what you can to burn them down quickly. There is a certain level of pride that comes with being the matches star player, but you definitely want your team to stay close.


FOAMSTARS’ first to seven happens very quickly, and comebacks are definitely possible. In our playthrough, we started to notice that covering the opposing side of the field, right where your enemies would spawn, is a good strategy, as they would land and start slowing down immediately after each spawn. Outside of that, coating the field with your weapons, special abilities, and Super Star skill is the way to the win.

Depending on the modes and online capabilities at launch, FOAMSTARS has the potential to be the next big competitive 4v4 game. With its fast-paced gameplay, striking colours and visuals and replay value, it looks like Square Enix may have another unexpected hit on their hands. With a release date set for late 2023-early 2024, I don’t think this is the last we will hear about FOAMSTARS.

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