BattleBlock Theater

We have already touched on BattleBlock Theater, but thanks to the Steam sale I managed to get my sticky paws on my own copy. I have played a bit of the local multiplayer stuff (of which there is lots) at Gaming at Rob's, but I wanted to find out how the single player side of the game held up.

I chose my favourite face and headed into the madness that is Behemoth's BattleBlock Theater.

A gnarly shipwreck has tossed you and all your friends onto a scary cat prison island, and as the evil cats have turned your best friend into an evil baddy! To free your friends, it's up to you to run, jump and collect little green gems, and put on a good show for your feline overlords.

On the surface, BattleBlock Theater seems like a straightforward platformer. Jump into a level and grab the gems while avoiding various pitfalls before hitting the exit. Simple right? Not so. While each level can technically be finished with only three gems, there are more scattered around the level, as well as a cutesy golden ball of yarn which is usually hidden in an out of the way part of the level. Making it to the exit with all the gems and the yarn under the time limit to get the coveted A+ level ranking becomes an increasingly difficult affair as those nefarious kitties add more traps, hazards and enemies to impede your progress.

The gems serve to free prisoners (which also grant you new faces to customise your little character), and the yarn pays off a guard who trades you black market items. Getting the A+ rating gives bonus gems, which means bonus faces.

There are plenty of levels to take a crack at, enough to keep you coming back for quite some time, especially if you, like me, are after an A+ on each level. If you feel like it you can grab a friend to play co-op, but I have to say that the levels I have played through have been very cool as a solo player.

The great hook to this game is the presentation. The art is amazing, all cardboard cutouts and simple but charming characters. The soundtrack is really cool as well (the vocal parts when you find the first secret level had me chuckling for ages) but the real killer is the humour. Some may deride it as puerile, but for me it presses all the right buttons. Silly, yes. Juvenile, yes. Very very funny? Definite yes. I challenge anyone not to have a bit of a giggle upon being called a 'spicy little fart' after successfully grabbing a gem. Will Stamper absolutely excels as the narrator and raises the whole game above it's simple platforming roots.

There are also multiple modes for multiplayer chaos, and a level editor for the more creatively minded. Quite simply, there's a huge amount of content that is beautifully presented and hilariously funny. Go grab it!

BattleBlock Theater is available on Steam.