After many builds and iterations over the past year, Fire Hose Games hit upon a version of Slam Bolt Scappers that they liked. Apparently other people liked it a lot too as it was selected as a winner of the Boston Indie Showcase. And as its proclaimed influenced by Smash Brothers and World of Goo shone through, I found myself immediately interested in the puzzle-brawler game.
“We love four-player brawling and fighting each other, and we wanted to do something where we could fight in ways that are more interesting,” said Eitan Glinert, President of Fire Hose Games. “I love World of Goo. It’s awesome, but it’s like ‘man, do I need to punch somebody.’”
He explained succinctly how to play the game as I lined up with three others for a multiplayer demo, “Here’s the big part guys, big squares of the same color will kill your enemies and vanquish your foes. Multi-color squares do jack shit for you.”
Players vie for colored blocks, which come in various shapes similar to Tetris, and use the blocks to make squares. Different colored squares serve different functions such as lasers or shields, and their power grows in proportion to their size.
And there’s many approaches players can take with these simple concepts—rather than just focusing on building up your own tower, you can also sabotage your opponents by stealing blocks from their hands, or putting an ill-placed block in the middle of their tower. Multi-player matches also have a fairly quick turnover and last an average of a few minutes, which strikes a good balance between a thorough match and sharing the controller with friends.
The loud PAX East show floor drowned out the game’s music and audio effects, but its look and feel are undeniably fun. No release date is set yet, but Eitan said it will be a console download.
“After all of those iterations that weren’t that good in this last year, this is the first time that we have a build where we’re like staying late after work to play it, and fighting our friends over to come and play this game,” he said.
Slam Bolt Scrappers, which made its public debut at PAX East, is the first title from Fire Hose Games, which gets its name from an inside joke about the some of the staff’s alma mater, MIT (“Learning at MIT is like drinking from a Fire Hose”). Eitan also mentioned Fire Hose Games is working on other unannounced projects.