When you’re dealing with the developers of Alien Hominid and Castle Crashers you can be assured of a few things: minimalistic cartoon graphics, grim toilet humor, rock solid multiplayer, and no attempt to hold your hand through stage after stage of punishment. The Behemoth’s latest effort, BattleBlock Theater, delivers dutifully on all of the above while finally adding some vocal accompaniment outside of the usual grunts and gurgles in the form of a lemony narrator who never shuts the hell up and who you rarely want to. The layout of each stage is masterfully constructed to constantly introduce new elements to the increasingly lethal 2D platforming deathtrap, often throwing an additional bit of puzzle-solving at you to figure out how to alter the stage to allow safe passage, and multiplayer has a wide enough variety of modes to make sure everyone finds something they like. The game’s already simplistic designs are held back a bit by the developer’s adherence to Flash-style presentation, and hitboxes are a little on the wonky side for a game so occupied by precision platforming, but these end up being minor marks on a wonderfully goofy and satisfyingly challenging title made for the veteran platformer.
December 6, 2013