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The Gaming Review - BattleBlock Theater

Release Date: 
Game Platform: 
Xbox Live Arcade
Star Rating: 
8 out of 10

The deadliest show to hit theaters since Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark.

The Pitch: Take The Behemoth’s signature quirky style, apply it to a huge collection of platforming levels, add in cooperative online multiplayer, and toss it all on the Xbox Live Marketplace for 1200 points, and you’ve got a good glimpse into what BattleBlock Theater is all about.

What It Really Is: You’re a prisoner in a cat-run penal colony, forced to risk your life for the enjoyment of, well, anyone who’s watching. BattleBlock Theater is another cult hit from the studio that brought us Alien Hominid and the totally addictive Castle Crashers. You can spot a game from The Behemoth a mile away with its 2D flash-cartoon graphics, absurd storylines, and overall silliness. BattleBlock Theater is the next step in the evolution of the studio, putting forth a huge collection of platforming levels that’ll have you speeding through to beat a time limit as often as you’ll want to explore and hoard items. Gems will get you new character skins while balls of yarn will let you bribe guards for new weapons...because the guards are cats...and cats love balls of yarn. While we weren’t the biggest fans of BattleBlock’s combat system, we were grateful that the game requires more finesse in negotiating its treacherously laid-out levels than facing off against foes. What kept us coming back, besides a severe compulsion to expand our wardrobe of whimsical skins, was a story that’s just too funny and irreverent to ignore. Come to BattleBlock for the cat jokes, stay because they locked you up and threw away the key. Ready-Made Press Blurb: “A prison sentence in BattleBlock is like serving the time of your life!”

Fun Fact: The Behemoth actually began when two guys, programmer Tom Fulp and Dan Paladin, put their heads together to create Alien Hominid as a flash game. The most productive thing that happens when we put our heads together at Maxim is a lice outbreak.

Who It’s For: Coop junkies will love BattleBlock Theater’s innovative take on platforming with a friend. Even the Nintendo WiiU’s latest Super Mario Bros outing doesn’t push the partnership possibilities like The Behemoth has here. Hoarding, trading, and replaying are just icing on the cake. Speaking of replayability, BattleBlock Theater comes with a built-in level editor so you know that the devout battlers (Blockers? Thespians?) will be pumping out new levels for everyone to dig into very soon.


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