Explodemon Review

by collect1
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Explodemon is a 16-bit inspired platformer that combines the essence and feel of SNES-era platform games with the depth and variety of modern games. This is Curve Studios first self-published title so it will be interesting to see if they can capture the feel and atmosphere of the old-school platformer.

Developer: Curve Studios
Publisher: Curve Digital
Genre: Action / Adventure
Release Date: 25 March 2014

CPU: 1.6 Ghz Intel Dual Core / AMD Equivalent
Ram: 2 GB
HDD: 1 GB
Graphics Card: GPU with 512 Mb or better
Direct X: 9.0c

Review Code Provided by Publisher

When you start playing Explodemon, you be reminded instantly of titles like Mega Man and Rocket Knight Adventures. The story is actually told by the use of comic book pages, which makes a change to seeing rendered cut-scenes. You play as a guardian, who is accidentally awakened from stasis during a world attack.

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While the hero hasn’t got any weapons, he is able to combust. Enemies can be blown up, or obstacles destroyed in order to advance through the stages. As you progress through the opening levels you find help icons, which activates the helpdesk and you get helpful tips on how to use your abilities. Also there are NPC to interact with that offer you explodicons for doing tasks. Down the bottom right of the screen there is an explosion bar, which fills up and if not used within a certain time then the guardian spontaneously combusts.

On the left of the screen there is another bar, which is your health. If this falls empty you die and go back to a previous checkpoint. Obviously, as there is a world invasion going on you got your enemies to kill. Some of them are like green, spiky things and other are some sort of green slugs that are able to walk and fire shots at you. Of course killing requires precision timing so that you explode at the optimal time to inflict the most damage. The only slight downside about the enemies is that they are repeated throughout the game, like the bosses. That being said that is how platformers were back in the day and is just one of the things that make it feel old-school.

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The levels are fun, even if they are a routine design. Exploding through them as opposed to the traditional jumping obstacles gives this different feel to other platformers. Blowing stuff up is not the only one skill you have; you are able to slide into enemies, as well as wall slide, sprint and charge through groups of enemies. New abilities unlock at useful times and there is not too many to learn, so remembering them is easy. Each level has 10 explodicons to collect – shiny objects that you collect so that you can get a higher ranking at the end of the level. There are 12 levels which seem to be just the right length to play through, as Curve Studios have pack a lot of goodies into them.

If you stick to the main path of the levels then it don’t offer much due to the linear layout. But look for and access hidden areas and the stage becomes fun to play. The boss fights are typical of this genre –meaning they can be predictable, which adds to the 16-bit feel. Graphically it looks great and the sounds are perfect. The music in the background and the menus pays homage to the games from that era.

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Final Thoughts

While Explodemon may not be a perfect game it is the little quirks that make it feel like a traditional platformer. I myself am old enough to have played the platform titles that this is trying to be like and I can tell you that this is how they used to be. While the gameplay was good, level designs were sometimes repetitive and bosses tricky, but they were fun; and this by Curve Studios is surely a fun, addictive game that will give replay value just to unlock all the achievements.

9 out of 10

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