Follow Genre: online third-person shooter
Developer: Toylogic
Publisher: Square Enix
Platform: PS4, PS5
Tested on: PS5


Site Score
Good: Fun gameplay, Bright presentation
Bad: Tons of microtransactions, Not enough content for the long run
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It’s been almost a year since Square Enix revealed their next big IP which made gamers go: “Wait isn’t this Splatoon?”. The 4V4 online shooter, titled FOAMSTARS, quickly got compared to the Splatfest by Nintendo thanks to similar gameplay features like covering the ground in liquid to move around and a colorful presentation. Now that the game is officially released as a PlayStation exclusive, which is free to play for PlayStation Plus subscribers, it is time to see if FOAMSTARS can stand out from its inspiration, along with its first season pass.


Enter the world of Bath Vegas, a neon-lit city where every night is a party. The metropolis is also the home of the Foammash tournaments, the world’s number one form of entertainment. Teams of four combatants take on others to rise through the ranks and become verified Foamstars. This is the general setup for the game’s multiplayer section, offering a fun context around the colorful shooting you will spend hours on.

If players are looking for a bit more depth to the world, they’re in luck thanks to the mission mode in Foamstars. Here a darker side to the world is presented, in the form of the Bubble Beasties. These creatures are looking for foam, which happens to be the driving force behind Bath Vegas. Now it is up to you to protect the Foam Generators throughout the city from these devious beasts. Yet again, this is the only real narrative given throughout this game, but the show’s stars are the characters. Each of the six base characters has its own set of levels that explore their backstories and personalities, giving you a bigger connection to the Foamstars you take into battle. From the international singer Soa to the professional gamer Agito, this is a great way to get to know the characters and it also makes you more invested in the world. It is however odd that the last two characters at launch, one you unlock by playing some matches and the other through the season pass, don’t get this type of attention.


FOAMSTARS’ bright and colorful feeling is greatly represented by its looks. From the characters to the stages, everything is filled with neon and colors. This is a joy to look at and makes everything feel unique to the core, bursting with personality. For the characters, this is especially true. Each of them is greatly designed and fits their personality well. While this bright design is one of the strong suits of FOAMSTARS’ presentation, it also works against itself. The combination of all these bright colors, along with all the foam flying everywhere, can be a bit overwhelming. It doesn’t happen very often, but you can lose track of what is going on during the heat of battle.


Where the visual presentation does wonders for the energetic feeling of FOAMSTARS, the music does the exact same thing. The game features a ton of fun and beautiful tracks that make the matches more enjoyable. It even features some vocal songs that can rival some tracks you hear in the Persona series. The music itself ranges from techno beats to casual jazz.

The voice acting in FOAMSTARS can best be described as anime-like. The performances are very well done and fit the tone of the game, but they are very high-pitched and could come straight out of your favorite Japanese series. While the voice acting itself is very well done, this type of enthusiastic screaming isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. All in all, it helps create a great and consistent presentation.


FOAMSTARS is a 4V4 online shooter with a big focus on covering the arena in your team’s color of foam. Pick one of the collections of characters, each with its own playstyle, and soak your enemies in a handful of fast-paced third-person game modes.

Picking your character in FOAMSTARS is one of the most important decisions of a match since all of them have their own unique weapon and skills. All characters’ basic weapons don’t shoot anything like bullets, but a vast amount of foam that covers your enemies and the terrain. The way this foam is launched depends on the Foamstar you picked, and weapons range from fast-shooting pistols to snipers that shoot one powerful shot. Getting this foam everywhere is an important element of a match since it’s crucial for traversal. Whip out a surfboard to glide over your foam and get to your enemies in an instant. But watch out, gliding over your enemy’s foam will have the opposite effect and leave you vulnerable to faster opponents. Since the Foammash tournament is a peaceful form of entertainment, players won’t take damage from getting shot but will be covered in foam. Once your enemy is fully covered, an opportunity appears to hit them with the surfboard and eliminate them. The same surfing action can be used on a foamed-up teammate to save them from their fateful end. To help you foam up even more enemies and terrain, each character has access to two special skills and an ultimate attack. These vary a lot between characters and really fit their playstyle, from turning into an exploding shark to close in on your enemies to deploying turrets to keep the heat on the battlefield. This is where one of FOAMSTARS’ strengths lies: the uniqueness of the characters. Each of them plays very differently and offers players different playstyles to experiment with. There are however some that are easier to learn than others, offering some characters with pretty steep learning curves. Not being able to fully utilize your character’s abilities can turn the game into a much slower and more frustrating experience. The six main Foamstars are playable from the start, with The Baristador being unlocked after a few matches and Mel T accessible through the season pass.

But where will you be using these characters you might wonder? Well, FOAMSTARS features a handful of game modes that will test your foaming skills. The main mode that is always accessible is Smash the Star, where players will try to take down each other. After a certain amount of enemies have been defeated, one player will be appointed the title of Star Player, which nets the opposing team a victory when they are defeated. Along with this mode come two other types of matches that alternate each other after some time. The first of these is Happy Bath Survival, where two players of each team take each other on in a smaller arena while the others support them with extra foam from the side. Rubber Duck Party is a more classical mode where two teams fight over a rubber duck that will move closer to their side of the map when they take control of it. FOAMSTARS of course also features a ranked mode where players take on others to rise through the ranks. Along with some timed events like FriYAY Party or Extreme Party where there are some additional conditions during matches, there is still some content to keep you occupied. All of these modes have something fun to offer and complement the unique mechanics FOAMSTARS has like the different skills and foam mechanics. There is enough variety to keep players engaged for some amount of time, but we do hope that some extra modes will be introduced in the future to keep the game alive.

While FOAMSTARS is mostly focused on its PvP content, there is also some PvE gameplay to be enjoyed thanks to the Mission Mode. Here players can choose a character and take on waves of enemies while learning more about the Foamstar they’ve selected. This is a great way to learn the specific playstyle of each character but it sadly doesn’t have a lot of replay value. This isn’t the case for the Squad Missions where you take on dangerous beasts along with other players. Completing these encounters nets you experience points that you can use to enhance your characters. This is a fun addition and offers a different experience from the PvP modes.

But with the introduction of a live service game, there is always the dangerous element of monetization. In FOAMSTARS’ case, this is a very bad example of how developers try to get some more money out of their player base. The shop is only filled with cosmetics that can be acquired by throwing down some extra money. While there are things like banner icons and accessories that can be unlocked through playing the game, all the costumes and skins are locked behind a paywall. This is especially a bad thing since the game presents itself like a free-to-play title, while in actuality it’s only free to download for PlayStation Plus subscribers until the beginning of March. Players who want to check out the game later on will have to open their wallets.

Along with the release of FOAMSTARS comes its first season pass, which runs until March 5. Starry Pop, as it is called, introduces a new playable character along with a ton of cosmetics for the entire cast. This is your typical season pass you’ve seen many times before in other games. By playing matches and completing missions you earn points that will unlock a new item now and then. While most of the items are only accessible to players who have the premium season pass, some rewards can be unlocked for everyone. The new character, Mel T, is a bazooka-wielding burst of energy that focuses on taking down enemies with big attacks, like with a rain of big foam balls or an enormous laser. She is a ton of fun to use and fits perfectly into the cast of characters. Players with the premium season pass get her instantly, while others can unlock her for free as a later reward. Starry Pop is your classical season pass and a recommendation for fans of the game. It gives a ton of extra things to do with the missions and rewards players for playing the game.


FOAMSTARS doesn’t stick the landing with its introduction. The gameplay is fun, especially once you get used to it and the presentation is good. But the amount of content, along with awful monetization, doesn’t give the impression that the base game will keep players engaged for months to come. Depending on how the coming season introduces more content, we are cautiously hopeful to see what the future of FOAMSTARS has in store for us.

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  1. […] most online games these days, Square Enix’s 4V4 shooter FOAMSTARS has seasons of content you can get into. Special events, exclusive items, new cosmetics, it’s […]

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