Twisted Pixel, creators of the excellent `The Maw` have returned with their latest title, `Splosion Man. So is it a fire cracker, or a damp squib?
The player controls the explosive titular character, an experiment gone wrong as the scientists that created him look to halt his escape using any means at their disposal. Right from the start, the game conveys a wonderful sense of fun. `Splosion Man is such a well rounded character and has a fine array of animations and voice samples that all manage to be memorable. This quality extends to the debris left behind from explosions, such as Scientists reduced to a pile of comedy ribs and steaks.
There’s a great deal of fun and laughs which are played just right, ensuring a smile will be a constant companion on the players journey through the 50 levels that make up the single player experience. The musical accompaniment is spot on as well, with an almost 50`s American Detective show quality to it.
Our combustible friend has no other moves apart from exploding… sorry `sploding. He’s good for three jumps in a row before requiring a recharge, which takes a few seconds in order for him to recover. Environmental elements also help propel him across levels, and these are usually triggered by hitting switches. Initially the platforming is simple and provides a gentle introduction to the proceedings, but soon they become fiendish and will test the reflexes and grey matter with their complexity and execution. When obstacles start to include rising water and moving spiked platforms looking to extinguish our hero, numerous deaths are guaranteed. Thankfully the game has a novel way of addressing this, in line with the general humour of the title.
‘Splosion Man’s controls are perfect, meaning the player won’t be left frustrated. It`s pretty self-evident that the developers are huge fans of the 2D platforming genre and know that completing each level is just the start. With secrets in seemingly impossible to reach alcoves adding to the replayability, it’s something which `Splosion Man has in spades.
The game is also packed with unlockables – there are Themes, Gamerpics and Avatar clothing to be acquired. The wealth of content included is a testament to a developer not looking to shill their fanbase for extra points as these elements could have easily been sold separately. Rounding off the package is Multiplayer with capacity for up to four players via co-op, complete with the same amount of levels as the single player. ‘Splosion Man is a package that provides real value for your Microsoft Points – other developers take note…
Fun, over the top and blessed with a sense of humour that is pitched perfectly, `Splosion man is a welcome addition to the Xbox Live Arcade and a must purchase. Just remember to pack your bomb proof vest!