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Blob! Explodemon! Digger! Nyan! Run!

Explodemon!

  • PSN 7.99

I could bang on about the torturous six-year saga that Curve endured in getting Explodemon! made. Luckily for you, I'm in the mood to cut to the chase.

Only a matter of weeks after the magnificent WiiWare puzzler Fluidity/Hydroventure (which, if you haven't already bought it, is essential), Curve delivers another fine reason to bore your friends about the merits of 2D platforming.

Despite the obvious similarities with a certain Twisted Pixel game that also happens to be based around a man with an unfortunate penchant for blowing himself up repeatedly, Curve's take on the whole thing is altogether less frantic.

For a start, the unfortunate star of Explodemon! has something akin to a monumental hiccup. Leave him alone for five seconds and Boom! Off he goes, rupturing several vital organs in the process. Being a platformer, this is either hugely inconvenient, or rather useful, depending on how you look at it.

4

Bangin'.

Fortunately, the ability to let rip on a regular basis provides not only a rather manic combat mechanic, but a chance to barrel around the levels, smashing up fragile scenery and boosting yourself to otherwise inaccessible areas. With so much of the game dependent on timing, the stop-start formula can become as much of a curse as it is a blessing especially when it comes to blowing boxes up onto higher ledges.

As is seemingly the law with platform games, new abilities get bolted on, the challenge becomes more multi-faceted, you go blue in the face, forget to breathe, and pass out in front of your PS3 from platformitis. It's a common condition. Look it up.

7/10

I Must Run

  • PSN Minis - 2.49 (Free to PSN Plus subscribers)
  • Also available on iPhone (currently free)
  • Coming soon to Android and iPad.
  • PC demo (available here)
5

The lengths people go to play Call Of Duty online.

I Must Run? I Must Come Up With My Own Ideas, more like.

When this Mini raced out of the traps before Christmas, the name alone conjured up visions of a depressing Canabalt knock-off, where some bloke has to scarper across rooftops for as long as possible before inevitably plunging to an agonising death. How disappointingly correct we were.

Being a blatant clone doesn't preclude I Must Run from being enjoyable, though, especially now you can pick it up for free (assuming you're a PlayStation Plus subscriber or iPhone owner).

As usual, it's a case of timing jumps and avoiding obstacles, though Gamelion extends the concept by allowing you to double jump, punch obstacles and slide underneath narrow gaps, Mirror's Edge-style. It's superficially prettier than its inspiration, but rather too sensible for our liking.

Death is, of course, final, with the whole premise based entirely on how far you can last out. There is, apparently, an ending, but it's more likely to be your sanity that cracks before you ever get to the underground station and construction yard.

The iPhone version, incidentally, adds lives (with a further two available for 59p in-app, micro-transaction fans), but if you're going to go down that road, you might as well go for Canabalt or the majestically insane Robot Unicorn Attack. See: spirit and invention.

6/10

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