In the beginning there was Gatorade. This was a sports drink designed to fuel athletes before, during, and after their most strenuous events. It’s claim to fame was that it delivered re-hydration better than water due to electrolytes, which are what plants crave. After that, as it is what tends to happen in the free market method of commerce which runs rampant in capitalism, came Powerade. This was like Gatorade, chock full of plant friendly electrolytes and um, more power and less… gators, I guess. It was tough to top a sports drink that advertises power, but we finally have in this new ultimate sports drink, Explosionade. It gives you explosive power by fueling you with explosive electrolytes, which plants also crave, but it will kill them… because exploding tends to have that effect on living things. Okay, I am just messing with you, Explosionade is a side scrolling shooter where you assume control of First Lieutenant Terry Atticus who recently got in deep doo doo (both literally and figuratively) for reverse engineering the pipes in the officers’ latrine.
Instead of doing what he is supposed to do, he decides to steal one of the experimental combat mechs known as GREnadOS and venture down into the sewers to play with a multimillion dollar piece of high tech weaponry, because nothing bad can possibly come of this idea. This is when he discovers the sewer system below base is infested with hostile alien creatures known as horrornym. While he is doing some sewer spelunking, he learns via transmission from Colonel Dagwood Bouche (that joke kind of writes itself and does show up in the game) that these creatures need a steady supply of methane gas in order to survive, and in addition killing these creatures shutting the big red valves to stifle the flow of methane becomes an additional objective. So how enjoyable is a game starring a disobedient toilet destroyer pretending to be the battle mech operating Rambo waging war in the sewers against a legion of methane breathers? Quite fun actually.
At it’s core it is a basic 2D action platformer. You have two main weapons, a gun and grenade launcher. You can charge the grenades and make them stick to walls or enemies and you have eight directional firing, so no part of any room is safe from your wrath. The mech is equipped with a shield that not only protects you from damage, but also if utilized during a jump you can bounce off walls or gain a height boost off of the ground, just make sure not to let it overheat. Plus it is fun to just have your character bounce off the walls and ceilings. Certain flooring and walls can be destroyed with your grenades which is pretty obvious since doing so is essential for progress. The game moves at a fast pace, you get a score bonus for clearing a floor in under 30 seconds, which most of the time is pretty easy. There is also a bonus for killing every enemy on a given floor, which again is pretty easy. The challenge lies in trying to get both bonuses on every floor. This is definitely a throwback to the Paleozoic era where you can just pick up a game and its fast paced action from the get go. There are 40 floors to descend with a few boss fights littered throughout the journey. The game saves your progress so you can stop and return to where you left off, but if you want to you could play through this game in one sitting in roughly an hour. It also features two player local co op, which too many modern game designers seem to have forgotten about, and there is somewhat amusing dialog between your character and the Colonel yelling at your during your attempts to save the world from the alien carrion dwellers.
For people who like packages, as in bargain packages where you can snag multiple items for less money than the combined cost of each individual item, this game can also be acquired with Mommy’s Best Action Pack which is available in the Steam Store. This includes three at a discounted price Shoot 1Up, Game Type, and Weapon of Choice. None of these games are very expensive to begin with, but the discount is pretty substantial if you want all of the games. I have not played those other games enough to write a proper review on them yet, but I did play enough of them to say they are comparable to Explosionade as far as being strange and action packed, and I did enjoy all of them for the brief trial runs I gave them. Game Type seems to be the most bizarre visually with Weapon of Choice not too far behind. Anyway, back to the game I am supposed to be discussing, Explosionade is not ground breaking by any means, but it is a fun game to play. Certain mechanics such as the shield bounce do set it apart of a run of the mill generic shooter. The actual playing of the game, while fun, does suffer from being too repetitive, but the dialog cut scenes and boss fights do help break that out. For the price though, it is hard to complain about anything. This game, while it will not set your world on fire, is an enjoyable experience, and I would highly recommend checking out the the discount pack that includes it. Follow me on Twitter