Explosives and sweets don’t usually go hand in hand. As a parent, I couldn’t imagine mentioning the two in the same sentence. Well, maybe I’d say “Don’t touch that bomb and here are some sweets for listening to me, for once.” However, Explosive Candy World obviously thinks this is a marriage made in heaven.
Developed by Marcos Game Dev, published by Eastasiasoft Limited and ported by Ratalaika Games, this is a physics-based puzzle platformer. It’s sickly sweet, demands an eye for detail, and requires patience, a calm mind, and an awful lot of luck. It uses a fixed-screen perspective while relying on horizontal movement. Furthermore, it has a distinctly retro feel thanks to the pixelated imagery and simple sprites.
Explosive Candy World will test your patience.
I admit that I installed this, expecting it to be a walk in the park. Sadly, I was wrong and my late-night gaming session quickly turned into a rage-induced battle. Explosive Candy World lays out its simple mechanics from the off. Consequently, there are no hidden surprises, and failure is down to your lack of ability. This brutal but simple approach will appeal to fans of hardcore titles such as Super Meat Boy or OkunoKA Madness. However, Explosive Candy World doesn’t have the finesse or evolve like its peers, but its core mechanics will still test you.
Surprisingly and disappointingly, there was no story to experience. Therefore, your reason for collecting sweets or being empowered with explosive abilities is never explained. Subsequently, you simply have to go with the flow and complete each challenge in front of you. The action takes place in four colourful worlds that each contain an array of sugary snacks. There are new mechanics introduced as you advance, but the majority of the gameplay revolves around familiar ideas.
Sweets, sweets, and more sweets!
Every dentist in the world will be sweating as they see this disgustingly sweet game. With candies strewn across every level, it’s a deliciously deceptive treat. You must move the hero using his explosive power, so forget about walking or jumping. As you navigate each stage, you must avoid the traps, collect the sweets, activate switches, and hit the end goal. On paper, it seems easy enough. However, in reality, you’ll fall to your death, bounce off walls, and generally screw things up.
To make matters worse, you have to be precise and quick as switches have timers, and platforms twist and turn. Furthermore, spikes line the floors and ceilings and minor mistakes will kill you. Luckily, though, the developers have a soft side! They have used unlimited lives, and this makes it much easier. You can try and fail as much as you like and it doesn’t impact your progress.
You must collect strawberries, doughnuts, drinks, and cakes. As you plan to gather each item, you’ll bounce off jellies, become enveloped in cake dough, spin on moving platforms, use teleporters, and more. The straightforward action becomes hectic and the simple objectives quickly become that bit tougher.
Explosive Candy World, a retro treat.
Explosive Candy World isn’t the most pretty game you’ll ever play, nor is it the most graphically advanced. However, it captures both retro and arcade imagery in its basic approach. Thanks to its lack of complexity, blend of colours, and fixed-screen perspective, this is as old-school as they come.
The sense of nostalgia doesn’t end there because of the shrill and fun audio. The upbeat music is jovial and adds energy to this maddening physics-based title. What’s more, the obnoxious sound effects are loud, in your face, and are reminiscent of classic arcade games.
Both the visual and audio elements lacked complexity, but I loved their straightforward approach. When precision is a key element, you want the imagery to be clean and easy to observe. Luckily, Explosive Candy World delivers this from start to finish, thanks to its sickeningly sweet ways.
This genre is designed to bring out the best and worst in its fan base. It’s deceptively easy to pick up but quickly becomes a nightmare to master. Therefore, passing a level that has made you scream ARGGHHHH is undeniably rewarding. Luckily, the controls are responsive, accurate, and easy to understand. Moreover, a helpful guideline highlights the path of your explosives and this prevents you from going astray.
With 80 levels to defeat, it’s great value for money. I enjoyed the variety on offer and the gentle learning curve. However, I can’t help but think the developers missed a trick. There is no NG+ mode, speedrun option, or leaderboard. Furthermore, the use of unlimited lives reduces the risk and difficulty. I wish a hardcore option had been incorporated, as well as some of the familiar tried and tested options. If this was added, then the longevity would be vastly increased.
Explosive Candy World is a casual treat.
The simplicity of its design, quick levels, and easy-to-understand mechanics makes it a great casual title. Luckily, there is an introduction of new mechanics throughout and this helps to keep the action fresh. I loved how the developers captured the retro arcade feel and this makes it just a little more special. Yes, it could have had more options to enhance the gameplay, but what is presented is enjoyable and challenging. It’s a winner for me and I recommend you to buy it here! Explosives are your best friend! Destroy the scenery, collect the candy, and explore each world you find en route.