It has not been easy to explain to people why Slam Bolt Scrappers, an early 2011 downloadable PlayStation 3 exclusive, is a lot of fun. Watch the video here with the sound off and you may still not get it.
But... perhaps I narrated this video of Slam Bolt Scrappers well enough that you will be able to understand this crazy game. I shot this on Sunday in Seattle at the Penny Arcade Expo, during the final hour of the show.
It's the debut effort from Firehose games. It wowed me at PAX East in Boston last spring. Then it got a publisher, Sony Online Entertainment. And in Seattle at PAX Prime this past weekend, the developers were showing some of the (solo or co-op) campaign, like this boss battle I shot here.
For the video-impaired, this is a PlayStation 3 game for 1-4 players. It can be played competitively (one stacked tower vs. the other) or as a campaign. Players control little flying guys who beat up flying enemies. The defeated enemies leave behind colored Tetris-like pieces which hover until you grab them. You rotate and/or drop the Tetris-like pieces into a tower stack, trying to create squares of color — 2x2, 3x3, 4x4, etc. Those squares of color automatically convert into weapons. Red blocks that are 2x2 or bigger become missile launchers; blue become shields; purple become lasers; green, not seen in this video, become drills. They all auto-fire, either attacking or defending against the other players or against a boss character. A skilled player tries to make 4x4 and 5x5 blocks of color, because the bigger the square, the more powerful the weapon... oh, just watch the video!
It makes sense when you play, mixing Tetris, Puzzle Fighter, Tower Defense and a bunch of other ingredients.
Slam Bolt Scrappers will be out early in 2011 as a download for the PlayStation Network.