Week in Arcade: Warhammer, Ms. ‘Splosion Man, Boulder Dash

A trio of releases to lead into the Summer of Arcade promotion, and together, they’re only $30. It’s a nice change of pace to see all $10 titles.

Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team

If the action RPG genre and the dual analog shooter got together and had a baby, this would be the result. The mixture of arcade philosophies and leveling up works, creating an addictive environment in a well polished, slightly sluggish on the movement side, orc-slaughtering romp. It’s colorful and violent, moreso in co-op. The camera can be tricky and you have no control over it and the orc hordes tend to swarm  aggressively, making solo play a little more difficult than in should be. Still, if you enjoy slashing stuff or shooting it in the face, this one will suit your tastes.

Ms. ‘Splosion Man

Somehow improving on a game many would have found perfect, the female explode-a-thon brings the uproariously funny Twisted Pixel into a game rife with pop culture jibs and smooth platforming gameplay. Evolution hasn’t affected the ‘splodin’ types yet, Ms. controlling just like her male counterpart. That’s fine. What you’re here for are the gorgeously constructed levels, now filled with so many new challenges and puzzle-oriented boss fights, the game is nothing short of brilliant. Oh, and the completely different co-op campaign returns. Twisted Pixel can do no wrong.

Boulder Dash-XL

A classic maze collect-a-thon is brought into the present and it’s… okay? Those looking for a little retro vibe will probably be offended by the attempt at bringing the pixelated 8-bit look into 3D. Instead of being able to appreciate the pixels, it simply looks like a polygonal mess. The updated visuals are a pleasing, if a bit unpolished in terms of frame rate. Level design is certainly tighter now, jewels pushed into clusters as opposed to spread out across the stages. There’s a lot to do, including a timeless zen mode and brain taxing puzzle mode. It’s a fun, simple trip, although not one many will jump at the chance to experience.