Explottens is an arcade twin stick shooter. You pilot a plane as Kit, a cat on a mission to save his world from destruction. It’s available on both Apple Arcade and Steam. I’m more of a dog lover than cats, but was this game good enough for me to become a cat person?
You take control of Kit who is a retired hero. Kit has to leave his quiet life behind and get back in the air to save the day. The story is given to you through text, mostly before boss encounters. There is not much there for the plot, but the dialogue it delivers is pretty good. It’s written with childish humor and it was refreshing to have some lighthearted dialogue.
There are 30 missions to take on, each having three difficulty settings to it. You make your way across a linear map until you get to the end and the save the world.
The missions are all on the short side, and increase in difficulty drastically as you progress. After playing the first few missions, I thought this game was going to be a breeze, but it quickly got much more difficult.
There are 10 boss encounters across the 30 levels. The boss fights range from easy to I think I’m going to break my phone now. One boss fight almost made me delete the game, but I’ll get back to that one later.
There is not too much variety to the missions, causing it to get a little stale. A reoccurring objective is to destroy something — which is always done the same way — or to stop a balloon from reaching a destination, which also plays out the same way. The missions are fun the first few times, but do get old quickly, especially when you are trying to complete every level on all its difficulty settings.
The game controls well both on the touch screen or a controller. There are not too many abilities during gameplay, so touch screen controls are not overwhelming. The game is very basic from a control standpoint. You fly and shoot, and then have an ability button for a dash, which becomes extremely useful to get yourself out of trouble.
You’ve got a friend in me
As you go through the story you rescue your friends and you unlock them to be your sidekick. Your sidekicks fly next to you, and follows you everywhere you go, and really help you on your mission. Sidekicks do a lot of damage and help more than I would expect them to. It was a nice addition to get some story on these characters and then be able to use them in battle.
After each mission, you earn gold, which you can spend to upgrade your weapons, buy new sidekicks, and buy new planes. Weapon upgrades were the most valuable to me; upgrading weapons had me going back to old missions, to grind out some gold to get my weapons maxed out, in order to take on the current mission.
My whole experience was on Apple Arcade. For the most part, it ran smoothly, but in some level — when lots of enemies were on screen — it did get a bit choppy. This didn’t occur all the time though, and it wasn’t that big of a deal.
The big deal for me was a bug that I encountered on a difficult boss towards the end. The fight had two phases to it, and when one phase was supposed to trigger, it never did and I couldn’t continue. I reached out to the developer on twitter (they did get back to me) but before they could get me an answer, somehow the level let me continue.
Repetitive missions were not enough to hold back my enjoyment of this game. The writing of the story and the gameplay was fun, despite the other shortcomings the game had. I recommend this one and give it two thumbs up. This plays great in short bursts; if you’ve got a couple of minutes you can complete a level.
Final Score: — 7.5/10 —