Slam Bolt Scrappers is like Tetris, only instead of clearing lines you build squares that turn into enormous weapons. Those weapons can then be expanded by building larger squares, which makes them more powerful - all the while you're frantically killing ninjas. We know, we know, it's awesome.
Slam Bolt Scrappers is all about frantic micromanaging. There are really three parts of the game, which must be balanced accordingly. The first is building an enormous block fort of weapons out of Tetris-style blocks. Second is fist-fighting flying enemies. As the flying enemies die, you receive more blocks to build up your fort. And third is attacking the second player (or third, or fourth) to knock them out temporarily and stop them from building a better base than you.
Oh, and those ninjas? Those are the source of impressive powerups. These powerups range from repairing your base to gaining the ability to steal your opponents’ weapons. But these ninjas are more difficult to beat down than the legions of floating enemies, which means you'll waste precious time that you could be using to build.
That’s the story with SBS - stray too far from any one thing and you're hosed. As you work through the campaign, you'll continue to unlock new types of weapons. Some of them are shields, which charge your weapons, some become ping-pong paddles that smack back enemy artillery, and some become mega-bomb weapons of doom.
Slam Bolt Scrappers is at its best when you know exactly what you're doing, which is a rare occasion in larger levels. The colorful cel-shading might complement the gameplay, but in hectic levels the multicolored atmosphere is a rainbow nightmare on the eyes. You’ll quickly lose track of your blocks, your location, and even where your base is. On the most complex levels, your enemy builds on two platforms - rotating platforms - while hundreds of enemies flood the stage and your weapons shoot multicolored rockets. It’s enough color to make Roy G. Biv blush.
If you can make it past the color explosion, and aren’t prone to ulcers in high-stress situations, then you’ll be coming back for bite-size servings long after you’ve completed the campaign. If have four friends eager for some trash talk, it’s a perfect way to burn through an evening (and inevitably lose some friends).
Mar 16, 2011