The best game I saw at the last gaming convention I attended will be announced as a PlayStation 3 exclusive at the next one. OK, I had two favorite games last time. Slam Bolt Scrappers was one of them.
When I played the game at PAX East in Boston a few months ago, it was manic and fun. I played the game's multiplayer mode, a fixed-screen two-vs-two combination of block-stacking and tower-battling.
Eitan Glinert of Fire Hose Games told me today that the game's excellent first impression has earned it a publishing deal with Sony Online Entertainment. The game will be released through SOE exclusively for the PlayStation 3's PlayStation Network in early 2011.
Glinert will be showing the game at E3 next week but also wanted Kotaku readers to know about some of the new powers added to the game since PAX East.
Before I share all that, though, let me explain the multiplayer mode in the game: You team up with another player and control little flying creatures who can catch and move falling Tetris-style blocks. The goal is to stack them in a manner that produces large squares of color, the bigger the square, the better. Those clumps of same-colored squares have properties that enable your tower to either attack the stack of blocks the opposing players are assembling — or to defend against their enemy stack. Some blocks generate shields; others generate missiles or lasers. As you assemble them, the towers battle. Better stacking makes a better tower that chips away at the enemy tower. When your tower destroys the other players', you win.
Here's Glinert's explanation of some of the new features that have been added in for the game's E3 demo.
The biggest new features we'll be showing off are the new block types for building and awesome new power ups for fighting. At PAX East we had purple lasers which fired powerful bursts, red missiles which fired multiple spread shot rockets, and blue shields which defend turrets in your tower. At E3 we'll be introducing green drills, which fire drone drills that pile on continuous damaged until destroyed, and white snowball tossers, which lob balls of snow and ice onto your enemy's platform, hindering their building efforts (at least until the snow melts or is destroyed). On the fighting side we've added shield power ups which use the same technology as the blue shield blocks to give the player a temporary powerful protective barrier, while the comet power up temporarily transforms the player into a living weapon, allowing him to dash forward extremely quickly with a powerful attack that destroys everything in his path. It's a ton of fun!
The new screenshots here show the new powers in action. Look at them closely and imagine the mayhem. At PAX East, Glinert said his team was interested in making a single-player mode as well that would be more of a side-scroller. No more word on that yet.
I'm looking forward to this game's release in 2011.
(For the record, my other favorite PAX East game was Monday Night Combat, which will be at E3 as well.)