Fire Hose’s PSN exclusive Slam Bolt Scrappers is a strange and interesting mash up between tower defense, puzzle, and basic melee genres. Now this might sound a bit hectic, and believe me: it is. Let me attempt to describe the core gameplay…
Each level revolves around the player, and an opponent, (whether it be computer or another player.) building a Tetris like tower, out of blocks that look almost infringingly like Tetris blocks. As you stack blocks of the same color into 4×4 piles the blocks become a weapon that will automatically attack the opposing tower(s). Different color blocks become different things when stacked so the key strategy is getting the right types of pieces of the same color and loading them into your tower.
That would be simple enough, except those all-important blocks aren’t easily obtained they must be earned. Each player controls an on-screen character who flies above the towers and forges for blocks, commonly acquired by beating the tar out of neon colored bats. Once you’ve mugged your way into a combination of killer blocks, your character has to manually rotate and insert them into the tower. This can be hard to get used to, if it weren’t for the other players.
While you are working diligently on building your murder tower, other players are stacking their own piles. At any time players and/or the game’s cpu can fly up to you and start up some cheap melee combat. If a player loses all their health, you can’t stack any more blocks onto your tower until you re spawn.
The game’s presentation is cheerful, with cel-shaded characters and colorful blocks populating a variety of levels. The music is appropriately upbeat and lighthearted.
Controls are where things start to get a bit frustrating. At all times, players are responsible for attacking and defending themselves, and rotating and placing blocks making for a very scatter-brained control scheme.
Slam Bolt Scrappers offers a new and frantic party game environment, if you have enough friends willing to play a while there is potential for a great time, but the game’s price clocks in at 14.99 which is steep for a game that might just have a little too much going on.
*Sony Online Entertainment provided SlimGamer.com with a promo code for a review copy.