January 25, 2013 by khrisgolder
Exploding Imp features a mischievous, gaseous little imp hell-bent on destroying everything good in life. The main character is a villainous imp tasked with trouncing all the flowers in each level. When Exploding Imp clears all the pretty little plant life out of each level, the skies turn dark, and the door to the next happy-go-lucky area opens. His opposition ranges from pitchfork wielding gnomes, fairies with heat seeking pixie missiles, web shooting spiders, and more.
Almost anything can significantly injure Exploding Imp, which is probably the reason why the dark prince tasked him with phytocide. In Exploding Imp’s defense, there are a number of abnormally violent plants disbursed amongst the flowers. Patches of thorny vines, Venus flytraps, exploding pods, and dropping spikes are some of the dangerous types of obstacles that stand between Exploding Imp and world domination.
Luckily, some of the environmental dangers can be strategically used against the enemies (a well-timed drop of a spike can take out a group of enemies at once). Even a handful of flowers genus are dangerous. Windmill flowers can blow the gliding imp off-course into other dangers. Some spit bullet like seeds. All of them provide the fuel for Imp’s more offensive secret weapon.
Imp has two attacks, explosive gas and claw-scratching. Claw scratching is as useful as a T-Rex’s arms, and is really only good for a perfectly timed defense attack, or to destroy a flower without wasting precious gas. Gas can also be created by giving Explosive Imp indigestion at the cost of some health. Gas is also used as speed boost and a jump boost. In fact, jumping without gas is the most frustrating part of the game. Imp often snags beyond the cusp of the platform or drops before the jump action can be initiated. Depending on the direction he is traveling, his jump can be misdirected because the game hasn’t yet registered the user-initiated control.
Health is recovered by eating the bones of your fallen enemies.This is also the best way to accumulate a high score. Defeating more enemies within a set timeframe increases Imp’s multiplier and allows more bones to drop from the next victim. The problem with bone collection is the range of picking up bones is extremely limited: Imp almost has to walk across the bone in order to collect it. Coupled with the jumping issues… a lot of bones go to waste.
The levels begin to blend together, but it is a small price to pay for having so many levels available to play in an XBLIG. In fact, the traps are intricately placed so it provides an unsuspecting level of challenge. One exploding pod might seem arbitrarily placed when avoided at the beginning of a stage, but it’s a perfect trap later on when coming at it from another angle. This provides a bit of diversity through each stage.
Exploding Imp is unresponsive at times, which strains the platformer once the levels start to pick up. Perhaps a quick patch will solve this dilemma. There is also the issue with semi-monotonous settings. However, with plenty of stages, and cleverly positioned obstacles, it’s still a fun title to play. More diverse artwork and precise platforming would have made this an incredible arcade title. Regardless, it’s easily worth the XBLIG download.
GamerCheese Final Score: 3.5 out of 5.0