Something’s wrong here. Hmm... Oh yeah, Morrissey’s moaning out of
our speakers. Totally wrong vibe. Hang on...
Ah, Bis’ ‘Kandy
Pop’ – that’s more like it!
Graceful Explosion Machine is
totally poppy – in all the best ways. Think Andy Warhol, The
Powerpuff Girls or – if you need it in a more gamified context -
Fantasy Zone. Or if you’ve NFI what that is, any of the Pixeljunk
releases. Still unsure? Just go back to Call of Duty, there’s
nothing for you to play here.
It may be a full-on colouriffic
detonation, but – just like the aforementioned Fantasy Zone and
those Pixeljunk games - Graceful Explosion Machine offers up some
serious challenge behind the cuteness.
It’s a shmup that
takes heavy cues from arcade classic Defender, but seriously ups
your firepower. You’re armed with four weapons, being a standard,
overheatable pew-pew-pew, a briefly shield-like blue flash, homing
missiles and a dead-eye dick laser type kill-‘em-all assembly
thingummy. The latter three are able to wreak mass havoc upon the
myriad greeblies doing their best to turn your poppy explosion into
a Viva Hate-styled bummer of a time, however they only hold a brief
Ah, but you collect little jewel-like things from
defeated enemies, which get you all powered up again and ready to
face another dirge of baddie assailants. A ‘dirge’ isn’t the
official term, but if the noun fits...
increase in annoyance factor the further you progress through four
fairly sizeable worlds that are divided up into reasonably
assailable pieces. Luckily your little Opa-Opa-like ship is a nimble
one, but you’ll still need your sharply honed shmup skills at their
sharpest to both survive and rack up super-scores (our only real
complaint is that the multiplier is merciless).
Akin to a
bubblegum Resogun, with bubbly
music, bubbly graphics and just a generally bubbly vibe, Graceful
Explosion Machine is quite the little GEM...