SDCC 2011 Hands On With Battleblock Theater

#1 Posted by nazer858 (131 posts) -

I had a chance to check out The Behemoth's latest project, Battleblock Theater at San Diego Comic-Con this year.

Every year at SDCC the Behemoth booth is pretty packed. They have their games on display, their merchandise seems to sell well (who doesn't want a Castle Crashers shirt), and everyone seems to have a great time. This year they setup a few custom arcade cabinets with Battleblock Theater in them which were incredibly cool, and I'm sure there are pictures all over the internet, or at least at their official site. A few quick thoughts on the game.

The mode I played with my friend was a standard platform / puzzle style mode. We got to select our style of character, a hat of our choice, and then a weapon. I chose a frisbee that doubled as a land mine, and I believe that my friend had a bomb of sorts. When you enter a level, the agenda is clearly stated - we had to make our way to the exit of the level while collecting some green gems along the way. The levels are tile based, and you use typical platform game mechanics to make it to the end of the level. Along with a jump button, you also have a punch for enemies, the special item button - for throwing your item at your friends to mess with them (think screwing over your buddy in Little Big Planet), and a throw button to help reach those gems that you can't get to with a standard jump. The game stands out because of the polish and humor that the folks at The Behemoth know how to do: stuff is exploding all over the place, the way your characters interact with the world is both charming and hilarious, and the controls feel fine - not as tight as I'd like, but not at all obtrusive.

The levels themselves weren't too difficult, but do note that these were probably the first levels of the game, I'm sure the difficulty will ramp up later. While we were playing, kids were waiting in line behind us losing their shit over the gameplay. They laughed every time any one of us fell off of a platform and died, or blew up because I threw my land mine at an enemy and killed my friend, etc. To me, that's probably the best part about this studio - they make games that are both fun and easily accessible to all kinds of fans of games. The character design is adorable, the music and sound design are fun and effective, and overall it was just a blast to play. I would definitely recommend this game to folks with kids / younger siblings or cousins - it really hits that category of "what game can I play with my family that isn't Kinectimals." Overall a ton of fun, and I'm really looking forward to it.

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