BattleBlock Theater Preview

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The Behemoth isn’t exactly known for being “normal.” With two titles (and a popular Flash site) under their belt, The Behemoth is currently hard at work on their next title – BattleBlock Theater. We were able to get some hands-on time with the game, and it left us with more questions than answers.

If you’re wondering what exactly BattleBlock Theater is….well, we really couldn’t tell you. Unlike the developer’s previous titles (Alien Hominid, Castle Crashers), nobody really knows what kind of game BattleBlock Theater is. Even their trailer doesn’t shed much light on the game.

We were a team of two playing against two computer-controlled opponents. Before the match started, you’re able to customize your character’s physical features, which determine what projectile they could use to stun or knock-out enemies. Round bomb balls, boomerangs, and remote mine Frisbees were all fair game. After choosing your character, you’re launched into a loading screen that explains what the hell you’re supposed to do.

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For our first match, we played a territory-based game, where the object was to color in more blocks than the other team. To color a block, we simply had to touch it briefly, and the more blocks we controlled, the more points we earned. Blocks would lose their color after a period of time, or the playing field would be reset all at once, adding to the frantic nature of the game. We then played a game where a golden…whale….thing was flying around the map, seemingly crapping pieces of gold. We then had to deposit our gold into a winged-safe, which awarded us points. In both games, the team who had the most points at the end of the round were the winners.

The game is a weird mash-up of Super Smash Bros. and Mario Party. It plays like a platformer, with an emphasis on double-jumps and team jumps, and throws in some fighting mechanics with the projectiles and hazardous environments. Not to mention how hectic the game is: videos do not describe the sheer amount of confusion we experienced during our time with BattleBlock Theater. But even though we (and everyone around us – we asked!) were confused, we were undeniably pleased with the experience. It may be The Behemoth’s strangest game yet (and that’s saying something), but it’s incredibly fun, and something to look forward to when it releases this Summer on XBLA.

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