Gameplay 8
Graphics 8
Sound 8

Explosionade has been out for a while on Xbox 360 already, but this PC version still delivers plenty of action. It is a 2D shooter that feels like it was lifted straight from the arcade and the new leaderboards provide an extra incentive to aim for a high score. Although the game is still great on its own we suggest grabbing the Mommy’s Best Action Pack to get it along with three other titles from the same developer.

Gameplay: Small levels and lots of enemies ensure that the action never lets up.

Graphics: Neo Geo style 2D visuals.

Sound: Decent music and plenty of sound effects

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Developer: Mommy’s Best Games | Publisher: Mommy’s Best Games | Release Date: 2015 | Genre: Action / Indie | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

While the rest of his friends are busy storming a Horronym fortress in a final assault, first lieutenant Terry Atticus finds himself all alone back at the base. Apparently his superior didn’t take too kindly to some pipes in the officer’s latrine that were accidentally reversed by Atticus and thus the hapless lieutenant is missing out on the biggest battle of all time. However, while rooting around in the supply room Atticus discovers a prototype mech which he promptly takes into the sewers for some target practice. Instead of finding the snakebats he was expecting, Atticus discovers a whole bunch of aliens and takes it upon himself to take them all out.

Explosionade is another one of Mommy’s Best Games that was originally released on Xbox 360 back in 2010 and is now making its long overdue PC début. The game looks, and feels, like an old SNK arcade title where your goal is to clear rooms full of alien enemies. There is no exploration and each room can be completed in less than a minute, so it is all about causing as much death and destruction with your mech as possible. Your primary weapon is a gun that can be fired in any direction, but the mech is also equipped with some potent grenades. The grenades are lobbed with an arc and can be set to either stick to objects or bounce, depending on how long you hold down the fire button. Most of the rooms feature walls and floors that can be destroyed with grenades, but unlike your gun the grenades come with a short reloading time to prevent you from tossing them in a continuous stream. If you do want to fire grenades without the reloading time you need to collect enough of the gold scattered around the rooms to activate your “Meganade Rush.” Gold is also used to repair your mech, so don’t pass up an opportunity to grab a pile.

While you can simply head straight for the exit on each level you’ll be missing out on a lot of points. Killing everything that moves and collecting all the gold is not only more satisfying, but also results in a better score. For some extra motivation this Steam version of the game also comes with new leaderboards. In addition to being able to jump and hover for a short period of time your mech also comes with a handy multi-purpose shield. The shield makes you impervious to enemy fire and you can even bounce enemy grenades off it with good timing. In addition, you can activate your shield just before hitting the floor or a wall after jumping to perform a nifty shield bounce in order to reach greater heights. However, the shield overheats very quickly and must recharge between uses.

It has been a few years since the original release of Explosionade, but thanks to the 2D visual style of the game it doesn’t look too dated. The color palette is a bit muted and the backgrounds rather limited as the entire game is set in a sewer, but the screen filling bosses still look good as does the hand drawn animations. You can zoom in on the action with the tap of a button to take a closer look of your enemies or zoom out for a better view of your surroundings. While a couple of more enemy types would have been nice we really like the designs of the ones present in the game. Enemies are also not stupid and will take cover or run away from grenades that are tossed at them. Explosionade doesn’t feature any voice acting for the short exchanges between Atticus and his superior, but the rest of the audio is quite good. The game works best with a gamepad as it plays a bit like a twin-stick shooter, but playing the game with a keyboard and mouse is manageable as well.

Apart from the inclusion of leaderboards, this PC version of the game also features achievements as well as trading cards. Although not very long it is an entertaining title that we wholeheartedly recommend to shooter fans who might have missed it on Xbox 360. It also features a very reasonable price tag, but we suggest grabbing the entire Mommy’s Best Action Pack to get the best value for money.

Although Explosionade is an action packed title it comes with multiple difficulty settings to ensure players of all skill levels have a fair shot at completing it. Just like the arcade games of old it is possible to finish all the levels in a very short period of time, but the real challenge comes from upping the difficulty and increasing the gameplay speed while aiming for a high score. Players who enjoy beating their own scores or competing with others on the leaderboards will find that Explosionade has a lot of replay value. The game also features a co-op mode, which is a lot of fun.

System Requirements

  • OS: XP, Vista, 7
  • Processor: Intel Core™ Duo or faster
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 128 MB Card, supports Shader Model 2.0
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Hard Drive: 500 MB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c Compatible sound card
  • Additional Notes: Microsoft Xbox 360 Controller is the best way to play.

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