It’s been over six months since we first heard official word that Twisted Pixel would be releasing a sequel to their immensely popular rapid-fire platformer Splosion Man. Ms. Splosion Man, following in the Pac-Man school of sequel naming conventions, sees the titular heroine on a bigger and more polished adventure than her beau.

While co-op was included in the original title, it sounds as though for Ms. Splosion Man the team at Twisted Pixel is set to take it up a notch – with the announcement of an “Early Access” beta for the game.

Splosion Man is certainly a go-to fan-favorite title on Xbox Live Arcade, praised for offering a challenging platformer with tense, fast-faced, set-pieces that require both skill and a sense of rhythm – as the player “Splodes” from one surface to another.

Ms. Splosion Man is expected to follow a similar format – with a number of subtle and not so subtle tweaks to the gameplay – i.e. Ms. Splosion Man can dangle from rails to avoid dangers below (the subtle) and portions of the game take place outside the testing facility (the not-so-subtle).

For a further idea of what to expect, check out the full press release for the Ms. Splosion Man ‘Early Access’ beta below:

Ms. Splosion Man Early Access Invitation

Twisted Pixel Needs Your Help!

May 24th, 2011 – Austin, TX – Ms. Splosion Man, the highly anticipated follow up to the 2009 award-winning Summer of Arcade hit Splosion Man, is slated for release early summer 2011 on Xbox LIVE® Arcade. Microsoft Game Studios and Twisted Pixel invite you to preview the exhilarating multiplayer action by enlisting in the Ms. Splosion Man Public Early Access. This type of testing doesn’t happen often in XBLA, and the studio is excited to be one of the first to offer an early access program such as this. Registration begins May 24th, and the early access period begins on June 6th.

This early access will be open to 10,000 entrants for the three weeks between June 6th and June 26th. During the early access period, two different multiplayer levels will be available each week, in addition to Trial content. “To make the best multiplayer game possible, we are enlisting the help of our friends and fans to beat the ever living crap out of our game and tell us what is wrong with it,” says the game’s Director, Josh Bear.

Interested parties are asked to visit to enter. And participants are asked to email with bug reports and comments. Be sure to get your registration in quick, MGS and TPG expect this Public Early Access to fill up fast.

Eligible applicants must:

● Be one of the 10,000 registrants chosen to participate.
● Own a retail Xbox 360 console with a hard drive.
● Have an Xbox LIVE Gold Membership.
● Have broadband Internet access at home.
● Be willing to play the early access with others in the program if they know them or not.
● Have time to play with numerous online gamers, and time to provide copious feedback.

While the Ms. Splosion Man gameplay will undoubtedly be pretty straightforward, the beta appears to offer an especially robust package – with staggered multiplayer level offerings and “trial content” (presumably select single player levels to whet player appetites).

In case you missed the link in the story – make sure to head over to Microsoft Connect to register for a chance to be in the beta.

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick and let us know what other new gameplay features you’d like to see in Ms. Splosion Man.

Ms. Splosion Man is expected to arrive in Q3 or Q4 of 2011 exclusively on the Xbox 360.

Source: Microsoft