Developed by Mommy’s Best Games/Super Soul and published by Mommy’s Best Games Explosionade DX is a 2D shoot-em-up platformer. This game screams out low budget arcade title which is exactly what it is. The menus look basic and the graphics are just as simple.
The story is that of a soldier called Terry Atticus who was left behind at camp Colonel Bouche who put Atticus on toilet duty as he had no faith in him. Upon stumbling around the camp he came across an awesome prototype mech. So he gets in the mech and jumps down in the sewer to give it a test run. Only he finds out there are aliens down there which the rest of his unit under Colonel Bouche is fighting. There are a few comedic interchanges between Atticus and Bouche, with Atticus being a careless nerd and Bouche being an angry insulting drill sergeant type, all done via character portraits and blocks of text. Essentially Atticus has to play his part in defeating the Horronym aliens with the mech suit to assist his unit.
The game is played out on 60 short levels of varying chaos. Each level has an exit that you need to reach but there is also a side mission of eliminating all the enemies on the stage. Occasionally there is an extra side mission of turning a valve by shooting it but the side missions are optional unless you want some more achievements. The levels are very short and some can be completed in less than a minute and the longest one, which includes boss levels, will still take less than 5 minutes to complete. There are multiple difficulty levels to play it on depending on your skill/interest level. The game can also be played in 2 players locally which can be enjoyable.
The gameplay is for the most part quite simple, it is just a couple of the gaming mechanics that take some time to get used to. This is unless you remap some of the controls as they made some quite bizarre default choices. You move with the left stick and aim with the right stick, but the default settings have you shooting your gun every time you aim with your right stick. Then they use the right trigger for your grenades and the right bumper for an alternate jump. The A button makes you jump so they mapped the right bumper to do the same thing. I changed this straight away as it was daft. I don’t want to shoot when I aim, I preferred my right trigger to shoot my gun and my right bumper to throw grenades. Once I did this the game was much simpler to play and made much more sense.
The shield button is mapped to the left trigger thankfully and not the start button or something else daft. The shield has another function; aside from blocking bullets it’s used to increase your jump trajectory to get over higher walls. This took a bit of getting used to but it made sense after a while. There is gold strewn everywhere in the levels which are essentially the health pickups as they restore health to your suit.
The enemies are varied and most are not that difficult to handle. You have little grunts, floating mines, floating machines, turrets and the most annoying was the spinning woodlouse like creature. With most of the enemies the standard gunfire and grenades can take them all out but the woodlouse creatures have to be killed a specific way. In the levels, there are concrete walls that can only be broken down by your grenades. You have to break these walls when the woodlouse is on them to stop them and only then can you kill them. I found those enemies harder than all the bosses in the game.
Explosionade DX passes the initial tests of being fully functional, and some parts are enjoyable. The levels as short, as they are, do leave me a little unfulfilled. I probably would have preferred 30 slightly larger levels than 60 small ones, but regardless this is a platform shoot-em-up for fans of that genre and achievement hunters as it’s fairly easy to grab them here. The game can be completed in one sitting and is made easier if you have a friend playing with you.
Explosionade DX is everything you would expect from a 2D platform shooter. The only thing stopping it from becoming too vanilla is the shield floating feature, though you can play most of the game without needing the shield outside of high jumps. Once the buttons were remapped the game was fun to play but the short levels made the game feel too stop-start for me. Fans of this genre and achievement hunters may still get some joy out of this.
This game was reviewed based on Xbox One review code, using an Xbox One console. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by publisher.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.