App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
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It's impossible to talk about MaXplosion without referencing Twisted Pixel's 'Splosion Man. Primarily because MaXplosion is 'Splosion Man. After Capcom's/Beeline's game was released and the comparisons were no longer pure speculation it was still as plain as day. Sadly, while MaXplosion does all it can to ape the earlier (and superior) title it falls short in virtually every area.
MaXplosion is about an anthropomorphic explosion trying to escape a research laboratory by way of doing the one thing he can do well: blow up. That other game is about the exact same thing. He can blast through glass barriers, detonate on enemy scientists and robots, bounce himself from wall to wall and generally cause random havoc as he makes his way to each level's goal. Ditto for the game about the "man" that "'splodes." There are also collectible energy orbs and such sprinkled throughout each stage and a timer with a "par" goal to promote replayability, assuming people want to get that 100% rating. Again, similar offerings can be found in Twisted Pixel's offering.
The controls for Max are simple, if a little touchy: There's a slider on the left side of the screen to make him run left or right and a single button on the right side that makes him 'spl- I mean blow up, leaving a large portion of the screen clutter-free. And if Max gets killed during his run he'll pop back into existence at the last checkpoint with everything staying exactly the same as it was before his demise. So flipped switches stay flipped, downed enemies stay downed and it's a much less frustrating time overall.
Unfortunately Max uses up all of his tricks pretty early, and they aren't even his tricks. The controls are usually hit-or-miss, resulting in lots of over or under-shooting when leaping between platforms or between spike traps. They also tend to pick and choose when they want to work; having Max grab a ledge when he jumps at it, but totally missing the same exact ledge on other attempts is just one example. The stages lose their luster pretty quickly and rely too much on a "go here, flip switch" grind. As for those "three epic boss fights" they tout in the description: They're not epic. They're more obnoxious than anything, what with their badly placed health pick-ups and Max's tendency to not jump quite as high or at the angle one would expect him to.
Questionable origins aside, MaXplosion is a relatively decent platforming romp, albeit one marred by repetitive levels and uninspired boss fights, as well as occasionally unresponsive controls. Fans of "the original" may like the idea of having something comparable to play on the go, but it's more of a stripped-down rehash devoid of everything that made 'Splosion Man so charming. Lovers of all things involving jumping from platform to platform, who've never heard of Twisted Pixel or played their version of this game, will probably get a kick out of it.