The game play is tight and well controlled. Enemies are colorful and the art style is sharp. Each level is a single screen 'challenge room' with a set number of enemies, barriers and power-ups. These power-ups take the form of gold bars, which have a three-fold purpose. They heal you, add to your score, and once you collect ten in a row you get extra grenades for a timed Mega-Nade Cascade.
There is also a zoom feature that is controlled by the right bumper. When implemented, you have a great view of the enemies and mech. This is only available on the single player game. I found that even though the game looked good, the 'normal' zoomed out view gave a better lay of the land.
So you can go with this...
...or you can go with that.
As for the co-op, it's pretty standard drop-in drop-out local play. Just push the 'A' button and you're in as the second player. If one player dies then he can push the X button and jump back in, at the cost of half of his buddy's life. Choose and pay. When playing with two players I did not notice any scaling, so the enemy count stayed the same. One gripe I have is that there is very little difference in color schemes for the mechs, so it can be hard to tell which one you are when the action gets hot.
Look at all that hot, explosivey, action.
If you do die in this game you can restart the last room you were in. The catch is that your score will be reset to zero. So you can plow your way through each room, but you won't get a high score if you keep dying. Online leader boards are available, so you can compare your scores to your Xbox Live friends, even if you can't play with them.
The story plays out similar to the dialog boxes in Bionic Commando Re-armed. The writing is silly, if not groan inducing. Solid sound design and some thrashing music are just icing on the cake of this very solid indie title. There are also 15 awards you can play for, entirely for bragging rights. You can blast through Explosionade in less than and hour, but scoreboard junkies will find some replay value here. When you consider it takes 5 bucks to watch half a crappy movie, this game is a steal.
The Co-Op Experience: Players can work together to complete the levels as fast as possible. Players can steal lives to respawn if needed.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.