Trouble Thinking

March 23, 2011

PAX East: Slam Bolt Scrappers

Filed under: Game News — Tags: , , , , , — Durandal @ 11:54 am

I have a friend who bought a PS3 exclusively for Metal Gear Solid 4. That friend is a stone-cold moron.

Slam Bolt Scrappers, a PSN exclusive, is enough to make me envy him.

It’s… it’s a very weird game.

It's more complciated than it looks.

Okay so, imagine you are playing Tetris. This is easy so far. Alright now instead of trying to keep the tower from growing, you’re trying to build the tower. Also, you get to choose what shape the blocks will be in. Also! You have to kill demons by controlling a little flying man in order to get those pieces. And if you feel like it you can take the fight directly to the other team (I played a game with two teams of two) and beat them up with your avatar. And as you build the tower, different color blocks create different mechanisms. For instance, Red blocks will form rocket launchers if you slot enough of them together, which then shoot at the other team’s tower and if they manage to totally kill it you win.

I think that explanation may have fallen apart at some point.

Basically though, the important thing about playing Slam Bolt Scrappers is that it’s great fun to be confused by it, but at the same time it really rewarded figuring out the mechanics. I’ll come clean: my team totally lost the round I played at PAX. But it was mostly because while we were flailing, the other team had figured out that because our tower had so few offensive emplacements, they could completely ignore defense, and go straight for as many red blocks in as many clever designs as they could manage. Our towers remained the same size for a bit, but their lasers and rockets dropped bits off of ours and knocked our little avatars out of the sky more than was necessarily called for, causing us to go even more on the defensive. The few times we blew bits off their tower, the blocks fell into some new and exciting deadly configuration.

I could find very little to dislike about the game, frankly. I will say that it took slightly too long to play in my opinion. A round was about 8-10 minutes I think, which was still quite fun but dragged a bit (particularly for my useless hangers on who were relegated to watching). It’s also a bit of a mish-mash, and it’s sort of confusing. But then again, part of the fun was flailing about until you figured out the clever little rules that came into play during different situations.
So basically: super fun game for all of you who bought a PS3 that you should definitely buy.

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