Explosionade DX (Xbox One) Review

From the indie devs that created Shoot 1Up and Pig Eat Ball, Mommy’s Best Games ported Explosionade to next gen consoles and added the “DX” to the end of the title due to rebalanced levels, online features and increased visuals. Originally released in 2010 under the Xbox 360’s indie game section, Explosionade was available for a very low cost and made a name for itself as being one of the better titles available on the platform.

Explosionade is a single screen twin stick shooter built around action and platforming. It is actually a pretty simple game with the goal being to reach the exit point. Along the way are numerous enemies that can be destroyed by shooting a machine gun from your mech, reflecting shots with the nifty shield technique, or even walking over humanoids squishing them underfoot.

What makes Explosionade so entertaining is the thoughtful control scheme and wealth of attack options available.  The right stick shoots just like any twin stick shooter but the right trigger launches an endless supply of bombs that can stick or bounce depending if the trigger is held or pulled. Activating the shield is simple enough but the devs incorporated a shield bounce which is always cool. When falling, the player can perform a shield jump if the shield button is tapped just before landing. This causes the mech to skyrocket into the air with a floaty, high-reaching jump and skilled players can even bounce around like a pinball. Each stage can usually be completed in under a minute so the fast pace of gameplay can easily keep players entertained during the two hour campaign.

Replay value comes in the form of reaching a higher spot on the online leaderboards, finish stages with a fast time, and killing everything before reaching the exit. This is a simple approach but surprisingly doesn’t grow stale. Unfortunately, the story is lame and only gets in the way. In fact, the pilot of the mech looks like the computer nerd from that WoW episode of South Park, animations are cheap, and particle effects are generic at best. It still looks like an early Xbox 360 indie game but the gameplay is enough to overlook these visual blemishes. In a way, the low budget visuals actually give the game some personality.

It isn’t the best twin-stick action game out there but enjoyed way more than I thought I would. Although there are some flaws, Mommy’s Best Games has created something unique that has stood the test of time. Hopefully this overlooked indie game can receive some more recognition now that is clearly available on current gen consoles.

Also available on PS4, PS5, PC and Nintendo Switch.

SCORE: 7.5/10

Also Try: the many roguelike twin-stickers  
Don’t Forget About: Pool Panic  
Wait For It: a new twin-stick tower defense title

By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief
Twitter: @ZackGaz

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