Having a BLAST playing 'Splosion Man
I'm really glad to see such good things come from the current BOOM of indie developers!
...but seriously, folks. I meant that. To me, one of the most exciting aspects about this generation of video games is small-team development, and 'Splosion Man is a perfect example of why an indie resurgence is definitely a good thing. People talk a lot about how, without the oppression of corporate overlords, small development companies are free to take risky, artsy moves in their games. Citing games like Braid and Flower, critics and consumers are more ready than ever to admit, or even celebrate, the increasingly obvious artistic merit of our video medium. And while 'Splosion Man succeeds in style and personality, particularly with its sense of humor, its true victory lies in that other, more universally acknowledged merit of video games: that of sport, skill and expertise.
In this way, Twisted Pixel's second effort is admittedly one of an old pedigree, but I'd like to resist terms such as throwback or retro. 'Splosion Man is simply a game that knows exactly what it is, and thrives in just that way. Its focus is on FUN, and the real artistry here is the great achievements made in puzzle development and fast-paced, zany gameplay. At times, the action is so fast, yet also rather intricate in execution, that I'm reminded of sort of a thinking man's Sonic the Hedgehog. That may sound strange, but 'Splosion Man is nothing if not unusual. The scrappy developers behind Twisted Pixel are making games for love of the medium, and in 'Splosion Man, they have published an extraordinary title. It is easily worthy of an impulse buy, and with its lenghty and challenging campaign, brings plenty of BANG for the buck. Heh heh.