Slam Bolt Scrappers Review (PC)
Slam Bolt Scrappers is a strange game. Strange in an interesting way. The basic premise is that you have a building area and your opponent has a building area. You then fight over crates which can be dropped in your own building area in a sort of psuedo-tetris way. When these crates are arranged into square shapes they form turrets that shoot at the other player’s turrets. Oh! And there’s different coloured crates for different types of turrets. Also there’s ninjas and giant robots. Got all that? Good.
Alright lets look more in depth at the gameplay. (I’ll make a quick note here that the game strongly suggests you use a gamepad, but I didn’t have one at hand so used a keyboard & mouse – this may or may not have reduced enjoyment of the gameplay experience). Your character on screen is controlled by the mouse, sort of like a cursor. His actions are controlled by the keyboard, with two keys to fight and two keys to spin the blocks you acquire, as well as left mouse button to drop the current block you’re holding in place.
This is the point where the game seems to lose focus somewhat. The core game seems to be about building turrets to destroy your enemy, yet the focus feels like it’s placed more to the side of the combat, which is itself split between three different goals – fighting your opponent off, fighting for blocks and fighting ninjas for powerups. With all these distractions it’s easy to lose sight of the main goal of building up your turrets and instead fly about, fighting everything you see.
Another issue is that the combat isn’t as fleshed out as it perhaps could be – offering only two buttons to attack with and a limited number of special combos to execute (each of which stuns your opponent momentarily). It quickly becomes easy to stun-lock your opponent into submission. This may all change in multiplayer of course with the obvious advantages of having a human opponent.
Once you get them up and running, the turrets provide a fun part of the game. You are rewarded for building bigger and badder turrets with more and more fire power. For example building a 4×4 turret gives you so much more firepower than two 2×2 turrets, though due to the Tetris like shapes of the blocks, it’s quite difficult to build the bigger turrets. Even still it’s pretty fun to build a huge wall of rocket turrets and watch them spam your enemies. These turrets range from offensively powerful rockets as mentioned, to piercing lasers, to odd yet effective drills and to the more defensible shield generators. And that’s only naming a few.
Despite the apparent confusion in what to focus on, there is a fair amount of fun to be had here, even in single player. I can only see that sort of fun being amplified in multiplayer, especially with three other players joining in. If you’re looking for a party game, give this a shot.
3.5 turrets built out of 5