A game about performing dangerous stunts to entertain cats
It’s become common knowledge that cats can be jerks, but they wouldn’t catch a person and torture them for fun, would they?
In “Battleblock Theater,” a group of best friends need to unite to escape from an island filled with crazy cats making them perform in an old theater house.
All while figuring why the best-best friend to all, Hatty, has turned his back on them.
“Battleblock Theater’s” wacky story may catch some attention, but is it worth $14.99?
“Battleblock Theater” doesn’t set the bar for gameplay.
Being a puzzle, side-scroller, “Battleblock Theater” follows the genre well.
The player starts a stage (literally a stage) and then begins collecting gems to open the exit of the level, all while discovering secrets and avoiding bad guys (cats, sharks, whales, etc.).
Every once in a while, “Battleblock Theater’s” controls just don’t work. While the problem doesn’t persist, it happens often enough to make an impact.
“Battleblock Theater” multiplayer shines past any flaws the game may have. “Battleblock Theater” started out as a download for the Xbox 360, so being able to play with multiple people on one system was a given.
The Steam port for PC, Mac, and Linux carried this tradition, beautifully, on either keyboard or controller.
Replay value also very high with “Battleblock Theater.” After story mode, the game offers a challenge mode that keeps players coming back.
The story of “Battleblock Theater” can be slow and uninteresting.
It’s the narrator that knocks it out of the park.
“Battleblock Theater” begins with a bunch of friends traveling in a boat called the “S.S. Friends… ship,” to find adventure.
But then a storm hits, and the friends, along with the “Best-best friend,” Hatty, get ship wrecked on an island with some cats, who are “jerks.”
Hatty becomes captured, and the cats put an evil, “albeit fashionable,” hat on him. Now the player must save the friends and Hatty, because “Hatty would never betrayal us! Er… betray us… NEVER!”
The narrator also sings and makes fun of the player during each stage with quips like “This game is brought to you by yarn. Yarn: it’s a ball!” and “I was going tell you how much you suck. Turns out you don’t!”
And a personal favorite, “IT WAS AS IF POSIDEN EXTENDED HIS HAND IN FRIENDSHIP AND THEY SPAT IN HIS MOUTH. Boy he was pi- he was mad!”
While still short, the story and narrator really make the experience.
“Battleblock Theater” sounds like a cartoon from the 90s. The music, while upbeat, serves a purpose and send a message with each stage.
Some of the more novelty music, such as the “secret” music the player hears when in a secret level, can become annoying. The same song each time really stops being funny.
However, the secrets are hidden well enough that the player won’t be hearing it too often.
“Battleblock Theater’s” low and high are hit here. The cut scenes are cartoon “puppets.” That seem thrown together and match the narration well.
In game, the graphics match the cut scenes, except the characters and sets aren’t puppets. The graphics aren’t bad, but nothing really stands out.
The colors in each stage aren’t too busy and make it very clear what the player can and cannot interact with.
While worth the $14.99, “Battleblock Theater” can usually be found on sale on Steam, meaning it’s even more worth it.
So “buckle your pants” and ride with the crew of the S.S. Friendship. One never knows how the adventure ends.