BattleBlock Theater, is a 2D game that capable of many things. It is a comedic-adventure platform game, a cooperative game, multiplayer versus and gives the freedom to players to create their own levels.
The game starts off with the tale of how you and others ended up on an island due to a heavy storm. You and everyone else has become prisoner to the cats whom live on the island, and run a theater that has seen better days. Your tale is told by a narrator with extreme hilarity and enthusiasm. He oddly reminds me of the Youtuber jacksepticeye.
It seems they took your ‘leader’ and everyone’s BFF: Hatty Hattington and have him under the sway of a possessed hat. The cats are trying to get the theater back to its glory days by forcing him to be their manager/owner while having you be their new star performer.
You must survive the dangerous platform challenges made of blocks for the entertainment of the cats who have built them. While avoiding inevitable death, you need to collect at least three gems to unlock the exit. You are encouraged to collect as many as you can, and find bonus balls of golden yarn. These gems and golden yarn will help you free fellow prisoners (allowing you to customize your character further with new heads) and unlock new weapons.
The game communicates the objective and teaches you the skills you need to know clearly, without the need for a tutorial or a wall of text. As you clear the various stages, you get told more of the story about the island of cats and the theater’s history. I wonder where all those gems came from though, I bet they could have made a huge cascading waterfall of gems, and it would never run out.
You have the ability to double jump, wall jump, sliding which comes in two forms: power sliding across the floor or down walls to slow your descent and dashing. Oh, and your innate ability to solve puzzles by using the environment and blocks around you. As such the game becomes a fast-paced game with a great need for accuracy. Especially in the time-attack challenges/encore levels. You are not always against a timer luckily.
Collecting the gems and yarn, and trying to complete the levels as fast as possible helps decide your overall ‘performance’ rating with the audience at the end of each act. Including the end for each level alone. Each Act has about nine levels, ten if you include the finale and three bonus ‘encore’ levels. The encore levels are optional however. The better you do, the better your standing is with the audience; and the higher your level grade is.
The levels have various block contraptions to add to the challenge and break the monotony of the levels. They all interact with one another according to the game’s consistent logic. You may have to deal with lasers, giant fans, blocks that fade in and out of existence and much more. If you are lucky, you made be able to find some of the hidden bonus levels! As you get further, the levels do become much harder, and if you want to try collect every gem and find all the golden yarns…there is a high chance of you dying. Thankfully, there are checkpoint systems which prevent you from starting too far back in the level. Those checkpoint systems helped save my sanity during the harder levels as I died over and over again.
Despite the fact the game had me raging and sometimes wondering why I thought buying it was a good idea; I enjoyed myself for the most part. I often felt like I accomplished something when I succeeded in passing a level I was having difficulty with. I did not manage to free all the prisoners sadly. I did get all the unlockable weapons which was nice. A classmate was watching me play the game during a lunch break and accused me of cheating; since I was using one of the weapons to help create a temporary platform I could jump on to reach a platform. In my defense, it is a perfectly acceptable way of solving a level (which another classmate supported me in, SO HAH!) and I did try to do it the ‘proper’ way several times till I died over five times. I disliked that level so much. WHY WOULD YOU PUT SO MANY ACID POOLS AND SPIKY BLOCKS!?
If you were ever curious about the game or enjoy platforming games, then I highly recommend you to buy and try this game out. It is incredibly fun, while some levels may take a while, the sense of accomplishment is worth the rage.