BattleBlock Theater Review (XBLA)
by ZackC on April 26, 2013 at 12:00 PM EDT

Battleblock theater logo

BattleBlock Theater
Developer: The Behemoth
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Platform: Xbox Live Arcade
Release Date: April 3, 2013
Genre: Platformer
Price: 1200 MS points

BattleBlock Theater is a platformer created by The Behemoth, the same people who created Castle Crashers. BattleBlock is one of those games that is just fun to play. The game has a great sense of humor and is showcased in the story and the narrator. The gameplay has great variety and a very fun art style. I think this is one of the more fun platformers that I have played in a while.

BBTScreenshot8The story is not really what holds the game together, but sets the stage for it. The player starts out on a boat and becomes stranded on an island populated by cats. Then the player is captured by these cats and forced to platform through a series of stages for the cats’ enjoyment. While this premise is odd, it is made very funny by the narrator, who talks in a funny voice but then also describes things in odd ways and in great detail.

I do think that while the narrator is fun in the beginning, he can get on your nerves after a short while. The writing for me at least, is like nothing I have ever encountered; it is just so odd and different that it makes it entertaining.

Like the title of the game suggests, the game is based around blocks. The maps that the player has to go through are all two-dimensional, and everything is square; there are almost no round edges. This keeps the gameplay pretty simple, but allows for the maps to be varied simply by changing the properties of the blocks.

The variety of blocks is enough that the designs of the maps can be varied almost infinitely. But wait there is more— there are enemies that are placed on the map and this can change the level experience almost every time.

BBTScreenshot10The art design of the game is fun and whimsical, but at the same time dark and foreboding. When not in the maps, the player is in a level selection area, where there are mostly dark colors, but during the levels, it is mostly bright and vivid colors.

The characters that the player can play as are also fun like the levels. Over the course of the game the player can unlock different heads, which for all intents and purposes are just different skins. There are a lot of different heads that can be unlocked, and almost all of them are funny and goofy, which adds to the humor of the game.

I am the sort of person who likes to go after collectibles in games, and in Battleblock Theater there are a lot of collectibles. There are gems and balls of yarn throughout each level that can be collected to unlock different heads and items. There are also medals that you can get for doing levels in a certain amount of time. All these collectibles and side objectives allow each level to be played multiple times.

BBTScreenshot1The one thing I really appreciate about Battleblock is that it can be played multi-player locally. Not many games are including a local multi-player; they are shifting towards online exclusive multi-player. I feel that some games are meant to be played with someone sitting on the couch next to you.

Battleblock allows for that, and having someone laugh at the game makes the game that much more enjoyable. There is also a bonus with playing with a second person and that is that there are some collectibles that are easier to get with that second person.


  • Good humor
  • Good gameplay variety
  • Fun art style
  • Lots of collectibles
  • Local co-op


  • Narrator can get a little annoying
  • No co-op specific maps

Final Thoughts:  

I very much enjoy Battleblock Theater. The art and feel of the game is fun. The game play is varied enough that almost everything you encounter is different. The collectibles allow the levels to be played over and over, making it a game that has effective staying power. A lot of fun can be had when playing.

Final Score:


Battleblock Theater gets an 8 out of 10.

A review Copy was provided for this review

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