Review – Explodemon

Explodemon takes us back to the age of side scrolling 2D. Is it worth the time to travel back there, or is it just a waste of space? Read our review after the jump to find out.

You are Explodemon. An almost uncontrollable ticking time bomb that has been locked away due to your hazardous style and dangerous explosiveness. You are set free when your planet, Nibia, is invaded by the group known as Vortex. Your arch enemy, Absorebemon, is also set free and you must battle him to set your planet free.

The story is a little weak, but it is entertaining at times. Explodemon’s dialogue seems to be using some bad translator from the 80’s or 90’s, as most of what he says makes little sense but sounds a lot like an old video game. You’ll talk to other inhabitants that are standing around to get most of the story line. They know how to speak proper English, so that’s a plus.

Work on Your English Explodemon

The game play is classic 2D side scrolling fun that brings to mind games like Mega Man and Super Mario World. Explodemon is literally a ticking time bomb, as he will explode every ten seconds or so unless you make him explode yourself. These explosions can be used for things like jumping higher, destroying objects or bad guys, or dashing forward very fast. There’s a timer that will count down from five once you are about to explode, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise when you do. Using these explosions properly are key to the game, and you’ll need to master the techniques if you ever want to finish the game. As you progress you’ll be introduced to other things Explodemon can do like rocket deflection. The trick here is to let the rocket get very close before exploding so that the rocket isn’t immediately destroyed but sent in the other direction instead. Timing is key and mastering the aiming of the deflected rocket will help you defeat the boss levels. The game starts out fairly easy but gets progressively harder as you move along. The last few levels can be frustratingly hard if you haven’t mastered all of your techniques.

The level design is very linear but does have its share of puzzles, platforming, and fighting. Finding the path to collectible objects isn’t always a simple task, but they aren’t necessary to finish the game either. Each level has ten explodicons to find, and some of these are hidden behind walls, or well out of reach. That should keep completionists busy for a while. You’ll also find cash lying around on each level. This cash can be used to upgrade Explodemon to make him stronger, faster, and have more time between explosions. Cash is also dropped by bad guys when you destroy them, so be sure to keep an eye out for that. The levels consist of three planets with four levels per planet.

Fun Platforming

Explodemon’s health meter is a tall bar that goes up the left side of the screen. It starts out with barely anything but as you take out the bad guys, it will slowly fill up. There are also collectibles that add to this meter so keep an eye out for them. You’ll come across a few charging stations that allow you to stand inside them and manually explode. Do this rapidly for maximum effect.

The graphics for the game aren’t jaw dropping, but aren’t hard on the eyes either. Everything is very smooth and detailed. As a throwback video game, it looks great. Explodemon himself is well detailed, as is Absorbemon and all of the other non-playable characters you’ll come across. The bad guys are unique and well detailed. They range from little guys that can only hurt you by bumping into you, to shooting robot like creatures, to miniature rhinoceroses that can only be killed from explosions behind them. You’ll have to take him out like a bull fighter. He’ll charge at you so you’ll have to jump at the last second and then explode just as you land. Pretty simple once you get the hang of it, but the timing can be a little frustrating at first.

The audio for the game is catchy and is a throwback as well. The tempo changes as you move through a level and sets the tone for the action you are required to do. Very upbeat and techno. It could have used a few more tracks mixed in, but all in all the music fit the game perfectly.

Explodemon is a great throwback game with a few flaws. It was a little short on content overall, but what content it did have was fun and challenging. The language spoken by Explodemon (some call it Engrish) was a nice throwback to old school, weakly translated video games, and the music and level design brought back some fond 8 and 16 bit memories of years gone by.

For 9.99 EUR/USD on the PSN, it’s not a bad deal at all.