Splosion Man comes to the iPhone, just not the way we expected.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery unless it's a blatant rip-off. Such is the case with MaXplosion, Capcom's version of Twisted Pixel's Splosion Man, a popular Xbox Live Arcade title that debuted in 2009. It bears so many resemblances to the aforementioned hit that we can't help but shake our heads. That said, the question of whether or not it's a quality game is on the table, and despite the shameless plagiarism, Capcom did an outstanding job bringing this concept to the App Store.
MaXplosion is essentially Splosion Man. You control a dangerous creature capable of exploding on command, a feature that comes in handy for escaping the clutches of M.A.D. (Ministry of All Destruction) scientists and robots attempting to block his path. To succeed, you must navigate through 20 different levels full of spikes, moving platforms, nuclear missiles and various enemies, including bosses.
The hero can explode up to three times, allowing you to perform a triple jump that proves useful in reaching higher platforms. There's also a satisfying level of destruction, giving you the opportunity to break different pieces of equipment and gather multicolored orbs that add to the high score. In addition, the game as 44 achievements to unlock, leaderboard and even Facebook support.
With the controls, Capcom chose to use a slider for movement instead of a virtual analog stick, which is a strange decision. It works, but right handed people clearly have an advantage, since the developers neglected to include an option for left handed gamers.
As for the game itself, we can't put it down. Say what you will about Capcom, but MaXplosion is a quality title that uses (steals) some enjoyable concepts, like rockets that propel the character through the air. We're also big fans of the cartoon style graphics, and the catchy theme music definitely fits the hero's crazed personality.
Was it right for Capcom to create its own Splosion Man? No. Is MaXplosion thoroughly entertaining? Yes, absolutely. This is a well-designed platformer with solid controls, a likeable hero and sweet looking visuals. If you can look past the ethics, it's a quality experience, especially for $0.99. And yes, you may feel dirty playing it.
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.1 or later.
What's Hot: Great (though borrowed) concept, stylish cartoon graphics, easy to control, just fun overall.
What's Not: Capcom stole Twisted Pixel's idea, no option for left handed players.