Slam Bolt Scrappers: The PS3 Attitude Review
Many times we see games blending different genres together to create something new and exciting. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. Slam Bolt Scrappers, developed by independent studio Fire Hose Games, mashes what can only be described as Tetris meets Tower Defense into a chaotic free-for-all battle to be king.
Is this action puzzler fit to wear the crown, or is it destined to be thrown into the scrap heap?
Slam Bolt Scrappers has players build towers by grouping together color coordinated blocks, which in turn release massive firepower on opposing players who are trying to do the same. The object of the game is to reduce the other tower(s) to rubble. Block pieces are earned by pummeling flying enemies with your fists. Like in Tetris, blocks come in various orientations such as the dreaded “Z” block only you can gather up multiple blocks and cycle through to find the necessary ones for construction.
Building your tower requires you to join together blocks of the same color. Once a 2×2 square is formed, the power-up associated with that color becomes active. Red blocks, for instance, launch missiles at the enemy’s tower while purple blocks fire lasers. You can continue to build on top of your tower to create massively powerful weapons that fire more rapidly and have more health. In this case, bigger is better.
Getting there isn’t going to be an easy task though. Naturally, these flying creatures aren’t all that willing to sacrifice themselves just to become part of your tower. They fight back. Alone they’re not much but when you have 10 or so coming at you, they are a force to reckon with.
To make matters worse, the other players are vying for the same objective. They’re far more dangerous than the critters, and if you’re not careful, you may find yourself watching from the sidelines.
Should you lose all your life, you are out of commission for only a short while. As your health bar gradually rebuilds you can speed up the process by matching the button inputs on screen. You’ll want to be quick though as no doubt your opponent will have more freedom to build now that you’re out of the picture.
Campaign Mode will take you across various stages, each with their own different blocks available and requirements. The winning objective remains the same for each level – demolishing the opposing player’s tower – but sometimes you’ll be faced with two towers you have to destroy or moving platforms. There’s even a volcano stage the spews molten lava on top of your game board as well as massive boss levels. These aspects add variety to the game and an added dimension of strategy when playing.
Part beat’em up, part puzzler, Slam Bolt Scrappers is more than just a game about who can create the biggest tower the fastest. Strategy is key when it comes to being a master Scrapper.
How you place your blocks is very important. Early in the game you will be introduced to blue blocks that when activated provide an extra shield of protection to surrounding blocks. Then there are orange blocks that reflect incoming projectiles. Learning how to use these defensive abilities is just as important as building a strong offensive.
Controlling your character, whether he’s engaging in hand-to-hand combat or construction, can also make or break it for you. Flying ninjas provide special power-ups that allow give your character invincibility, super strength, or even the ability to steal an opponent’s weapon.
With all this madness going on at once, things can become a little hectic and confusing, especially for novice players new to the game. There is so much happening on screen it can become overwhelming at times. Projectiles wiz by, gremlins hover in the air, and all other sorts of chaos surround you. Stick with it though and you’ll be a pro in no time.
Aside from the main campaign, there’s Battle Mode where you can set whatever conditions you want and battle against up to three friends or AI controlled bots. Unfortunately, this where you’ll notice the biggest flaw of the game; there’s no online multiplayer.
With today’s demand, it’s rare to see a game such as Slam Bolt Scrappers not have online functionality. Yes, there is local versus multiplayer and co-op but including online would have done wonders for the game and increased its longevity well into the future. At $15 to download, it’s a hefty price to pay as well. While the absence of online multiplayer doesn’t completely diminish the game, you can’t help but feel it’s incomplete. You’ll still have plenty of fun matches; we just hope you have a lot of local friends in the area.
There’s no doubt that fans of action puzzle games like Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo will instantly be attracted to Slam Bolt Scrappers. It’s fun, exciting, and different enough to keep you entertained for hours on end. We’d love to see a patch for online multiplayer in the future, but for now we’re satisfied with this hot new title from Fire Hose Games.