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In Splash Lake, the player proceeds through a series of stages with the goal of dunking bad guys into a lake while staying alive and dry themselves. The player takes the role of an ostrich that can hop around the levels, jump one space at a time and peck cracks into certain floor blocks. Each level is constructed as a platform with three types of basic blocks. The metal support blocks are firmly anchored, cannot be cracked and never sink. Metal blocks are not anchored and can sink, but cannot be pecked. The regular floor blocks can be pecked to create cracks. These cracks prevent the blocks from using the metal support blocks for anchoring, and if a series of blocks is completely without support, the whole series will sink into the lake, taking everyone on board with it. Sunken blocks reappear after a period of time, enabling the player and monsters to cross over them again.
The player's ostrich has three health bars. Each time it's struck by a monster, it loses one health bar. When all three health bars are gone, the ostrich dies and the player has to restart the level. If the ostrich falls into the water it immediately dies, regardless of how many health bars it has. The player must also contend with a level clock that starts at 999 and rapidly counts down to 0. When the timer runs out all the sinkable blocks in the level go under simultaneously. For an extra challenge, the player can try to find the item hidden in each level. One of the metal support blocks must be pecked three times for the item to appear; the player then must collect the item before the level ends. ~ Kyle Knight, All Game Guide