'Splosion Man is a platforming-action game by Twisted Pixel, the indie game developer who brought you The Maw. This 2.5D side-scrolling game features a military experiment gone wrong at Big Science Labs, resulting in a molten man who can ’splode at will! He is your basic platforming character except for the fact that to get around he can explode to get past tough jumping puzzles. The game features 100 total levels, half being cooperative multiplayer levels and the other half being the story mode, "chock full of hilarious cinemas seamlessly integrated into gameplay, [and] epic boss battles". The idea for 'Splosion Man was formed from an idea Sean Riley had about a man who could only explode in a world made of glass, the team joked about the concept so much they eventually developed it into a full game. Twisted Pixel has cited many platforming games such as Mega Man and Mario as inspirations for the gameplay, they also credited Earthworm Jim as an influence for the humor in the game. 'Splosion Man was announced on April 01, 2009 and Twisted Pixel were forced into releasing another statement the next day to confirm the game was in fact real and not an April fools joke. It was released on July 2, 2009 as the first game of the 2009 Summer of Arcade.
With the face buttons allowing the player to splode at will, the spolsions act as a jump button, propelling 'Splosion Man forward. All of the face buttons on the controller will cause 'Splosion Man to splode, the only other thing that you can do is self detonate yourself by holding down the right trigger, this is sometimes necessary when you get stuck after messing up a puzzle. Sploding near walls will cause you to cling to them and then rebound for ways to traverse gaps and chasms. There are many obstacles you must avoid such as; laser beams, acid pits, sentinels, spikes, missiles and more, often times you will have to activate switches or kill scientists so you can open barriers to progress. Some levels take a different approach, forcing you to act fast by having you fall the entire levels while you avoid obstacles, having water raise after you, or having a giant scientist-controlled robot chase after you trying to crush you with his big robot fists. Another aspect of the gameplay is the fat scientists, you can pick these scientists up from the floor and use them to block projectile attacks. Splosion Man has a finite number of splosions (three per jump) indicated by a glowing versus charred appearance, which also acts as a kind of health meter; if he is attacked while depleted of splosions then any attack from an robot or turret will disintegrate him. Recharging splosions is done by maintaining contact with floors or walls for a short amount of time; exploding barrels can regenerate and overcharge the number of splosions while in mid-air, and in later levels small fire vents allow Splosion Man to have an extra splosion. At the end of each stage there is a boss battle, these play out like many platforming boss battles with an emphasis on pattern memorization and taking the bosses through multiple stages.
The multiplayer co-op mode involves 2-4 multi-colored 'Splosion Men traversing through levels together, trying to reach the end while incorporating cooperative elements such as appropriately co-ordinated sploding. The missions in the multiplayer mode are completely different from their single player counterparts and have their own specific cakes to collect. The boss battles remain unchanged. Often times you will need to work together in this mode to make it through to each checkpoint as you will need all your 'Splosion Men so you can splode off each other for extra height or there will be a certain number of switches you will need to stand on to progress. This leads to times when you will make it through an entire section and then need your long dead partner to progress on in the mission as there are two switches to open the barrier.
'Splosion Man has also been adding questionably accurate words to the English language, such as the obvious "'Splosion" and other words such as "'Splodalicious" and "'Splodaliciousness". The game has a unique sense of humor and contains many references including a Spider-man reference and several early nineties Arnold Schwarzenegger movie references. 'Splosion Man himself is a very animated character often babbling insanely to himself and doing random things like running on the spot and pulling little balls out of thin air and juggling them. 'Splosion Man also has an obsession with cakes of which one can be found in every singleplayer and multiplayer level (apart from the boss fights), this eventually leads to his capture in the beginning of Ms. 'Splosion Man. In addition, the scientists explode into bouncing, flying pieces of meat and steak when they are 'sploded. Instead of bloody gore, the scientists here explode into tasty, delicious omaha steaks. How charming.
'Splosion Man was the first game to feature avatar awards. They were not available at first release and had to be patched in later.