‘Splosion Man, an explosive review

‘Splosion Man is a hilarious platformer from developer of The Maw Twisted Pixel Games. The game is simplicity in it’s finest, and a testament to platformer games. With only two buttons to use and the analog stick it’s hard to pick up the game and not understand it quickly.

The game’s story is that it almost has none. You’re an exploding man who runs through a huge lab blowing up everything you can, including scientists and machinery. There’s seemingly no reason for it, but there isn’t any reason why the game needs one.

For a game that’s rated E, ‘Splosion Man has some surprising gore in it. There’s no blood, or exceptionally violent scenes, but people losing arms and heads from an explosion seems a bit over the top.

The reason why the game gets away with it is because decapitation spews meat products, not blood. Yes, meat. Ham, steaks, bacon, ribs. If it comes from an animal, scientists spew it. It might sound strange, but it makes for absurdly hilarious scenes of Scientists in the throws of death.

‘Splosion Man himself is just as hilarious. Twisted Games has taken running animations and idle animations and made them beyond funny. I have spent minutes watching this person of fiery death run back and forth like a child as he goes through these different animations. The silly sounds he makes just exaggerates these hilarious animations.

Humor isn’t really what makes a game though, it’s the gameplay. The simplicity of the game creates a unique experience. There is no jumping or power ups in the game, just running and exploding. How the running and exploding is used is what makes up the game.

There are no power ups in the game, but barrels and triggers that cause different effects. These items range from creating a larger explosion, to turning you into a projectile exploding man, or even just refreshing your spent explosive charges. The way they change allows for a vastly differing experience in every level.

Like most platformers, ‘Splosion Man relies largely on timing. If you time your explosion just wrong it could mean you have to do that jump over again, or that your character dies and you have to restart that segment from a checkpoint.

In the beginning of the game these deaths makes for a few hiccups, however later in the game you’ll often find yourself chattering like the character you’re playing as from the number of times you’re dying.

The game’s progressive difficulty doesn’t make the game worse, just makes for a great challenge. If it’s too much for you, then the game gives you the chance to skip the level and go on to the next one.

The multiplayer is similar to that of N+, another platformer available on the XBLA amongst other platforms. You, and up to three other people, run through cooperatively designed levels. Progressing through the levels means you need to work with others, even if you can’t talk to them.

It’s fun, but the time I had playing the multiplayer game often had issues with lag. It might have been host issues, or it might have been a fault on the game. Either way, it’s possibly the biggest folly with the game.

At the 10 dollar price tag, ‘Splosion man is a great slap-stick platformer that warrants at least a trial. It has plenty of replay value with multi-player, time trials, and hidden cakes through out the levels. The game features enough explosions to satisfy Michael Bay, and enough great level design to make Mario jealous. It has it’s frustrating moments, but perseverance only makes it more challenging and fun.

You can buy ‘Splosion Man on the Xbox Live Arcade for 800 points(10 dollars US).

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