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Sliding and 'sploding with Ms. 'Splosion Man on iPad


Rather than create an all new experience tailored to touch screens, the iOS version of Twisted Pixel's excellent Ms. 'Splosion Man attempts to replicate the console experience -- and, yes, that means virtual buttons. So, many people have already stopped reading.

If you're still here, stick around to read about Ms. 'Splosion Man's portable outing and the future of Twisted Pixel on Mobile devices.

In truth, when I said that Ms. 'Splosion Man employs virtual buttons, I meant button, singular. Apart from a simple directional input (left and right only), you 'splode by tapping anywhere on the screen. Obviously, movement loses a bit of fidelity in the transition to a touch D-pad. Basic platforming sequences I played fared well, with the "touch anywhere to 'splode" design making it easy to time my wall jumps and barrel explosions. In areas where more precision was required, however, things became much trickier.

In one of the game's infamous falling sections, for example, during which Ms. 'Splosion Man is in complete free-fall and surrounded by electricity, I found it very difficult to navigate the maze of death. Think of it like trying to play Operation with greasy fingers. Twisted Pixel head Mike Wilford told me the version I played was still very early, and I didn't really have much time to acclimate myself to the new controls.

Twisted Pixel has retooled its Beard Engine for the mobile releases, and it looked great on the iPad. I asked if the developer is looking at bringing its other games to mobile devices. Wilford agreed that The Gunstringer's Kinect controls would translate well to touch screens, though Twisted Pixel has no definite plans to bring its other titles to mobile right now.

The company is adamant about continually supporting Ms. 'Splosion Man on Steam, Windows Phone and iOS, he said, and will be sure to deliver ongoing updates. While he didn't detail specific plans, he did note multiplayer may be added to the Windows Phone and iOS versions of Ms. 'Splosion Man at a later date (the PC version already supports it).

As for what Twisted Pixel's next project would be, Wilford promised a "big announcement" in store for this year's E3.

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