Games with Gold: Battleblock Theater

Here’s the deal: When you sign up for Xbox Live Gold, you get free access to Games with Gold on Xbox 360 which means free game every two weeks. Yep, that’s right: If you’re an Xbox Live Gold member, you don’t have to do a thing, and you get a free game. So, what are you waiting for? Here’s a closer look at the latest Games with Gold title!

You may have heard of “theater of the absurd,” but even that doesn’t come close to describing the zany setup for The Behemoth’s
Battleblock Theater, an action-packed platformer and feast for the senses. The game begins with narrator Hatty Hattington weaving a tale about a ship of friends that gets caught in a storm and then washes up on an island where the group is taken prisoner by gigantic, sadistic cats. Said cats then make one of the friends participate in a vast theater of death in order to gather green gems, with which he (AKA you) can use to purchase the freedom of his friends and reveal more of the cats’ sinister script.

Look, don’t try to make sense of it; just grab your controller and start running, jumping, and punching.
Battleblock Theater doesn’t give you too much time to think, but it does demand that you do so. The level design is absolutely top-notch, with a gentle learning curve that introduces the game’s concepts (such as teleportation blocks, and jet packs) a grain at a time, so you can easily drop them into the hectic soup of action that’s swirling around you at all times. While the controls are simple, mastering the game’s many details is challenging and deep – a hallmark of fantastic game design.

But don’t freak out! You can call in reinforcements, if you like:
Battleblock Theater’s main campaign can be played cooperatively with a friend. Your buddies can help you overcome obstacles – and if you start to feel frustrated, you can always hurl them into a pit of spikes to blow off some steam, which is helpful. If you get really frustrated, you can play one of Battleblock Theater’s many awesome competitive multiplayer modes, too – such as “Muckle,” which is effectively a deathmatch mode; “Ball Game,” which is effectively basketball; and “King of the Hill,” which is basically – wait for it – king of the hill.

The entire game is narrated quite brilliantly, too. Hatty Hattington not only lays out the story, but gives constant, not-so-helpful quips when you screw up or do something cool. These are sure to bring a smile to even the most serious gamer’s face. You also get cool music, colorful art, tons of unlockables, secret areas, plenty of replay value… and did we mention that it’s
free with your Xbox Live Gold membership? So what are you waiting for, a curtain call?