Explodemon, the curiously-titled release from Curve Studios, actually has nothing in common with those infernal Nintendo-trawling creatures, and instead resembles an interesting blend of Super Mario and Bomberman. The end result is certainly an interesting experience, and one that is pleasantly enjoyable, at least on an initial playthrough.
Players control Explodemon, a robot with a troubled record charged with the task of saving the implied universe by eliminating enemy threats. To achieve this, Explodemon is able to release a powerful bomb-blast charge from his body every few seconds. Enemies caught in the blast are damaged until, inevitably, they are destroyed; the closer you are to an enemy when you detonate, the more damage you deal. Aside from killing enemies, your blasting abilities must be used to manipulate your surroundings (on a basic level) to progress through the game. Some neat tricks are used to pull this off, and whilst the control scheme is not by any means natural or memorable, it is sufficient to get the job done.
Scattered throughout each of the various levels are a variety of power-ups and collectibles, as well as in-game currency for the store. Powerups can help you recharge your blast meter quicker, or add to the strength of your blast. The in-game currency sounds promising, but the abilities that are purchased through the store have disappointingly little impact on the experience.
Completing a level sees you awarded a level rank, based on your time, enemies defeated, and collectibles found. I assume the purpose of this is to add some form of replay value to an otherwise simple, once-over game; however, this will likely not be enough motivation to keep players going. Whilst the single-player experience is fun, and lasts quite a long time (given you’re only parting with $15), it is nothing genre-defining that will keep you coming back.
A lack of multiplayer modes does little to help this predicament; although it would be a blatant ripoff, a Bomberman-inspired multiplayer mode would go huge lengths towards making up some of this ground. As it is, Explodemon offers an enjoyable experience, without being outstanding.
The Final Verdict
Platforming fans will have plenty of fun with Explodemon, and perfectionists will enjoy chasing down the highest grade on each level. Some unique ideas and successful execution make Explodemon an above-par title that is worth a look, particular if its price drops in the near future.
By Tom Hughes
We say: GOOD BUY