Saturday, May 19, 2018

Battery Jam... Reviewed!


Splatoon X Bomberman? Battery Jam has that cross up nailed... in its own unique way!


Battery Jam is an offline multiplayer game placing you in an arena where you have to cover as much ground with your character's specific color or your team's color before time runs out. You can play Classic Jam with 2 or more players/bots or Team Jam with 2 vs 2, or 3 vs 1. So basically you're taking on the competition to... nab as much territory as possible before the clock strikes... zero!

Battery Jam has four different robots to choose from... Turbo, Rocket, Love, and... Slug. I haven't noticed any differences between the characters other than their appearances, but perhaps in a later update... that will change to be more obvious.


You have 8 levels to choose from as you take on offline friends... or bots (if you lack physical company). You aren't stuck with a specific gameplay clock in this game or even gameplay speed. If you feel that the clock is a little too fast... you can extend it up to an hour or make it endless. The shortest matches you can get are 1 minute long... or play to a certain score. Personally, I think the score build up adds more excitement to the match because it's a straight tug of war to victory. You can also play with infinite energy. These match settings make for great tournaments between friends or even something held on a larger scale. I say that to say... this game has the potential for eSports action if it obtains the right audience and the right push in that direction.

In the match settings, you have different Presets like... Default, Deathmatch, No Colors, Teleporters, Fast, and... Slow. These presets or manual changes give you different experiences for your matches, like... 

Game Speed: Slow | Normal | Fast
Game Length: 1 Min - 60 Mins | Endless
Teleporters: On or Off
Respawn Timmer: 1 - 25 Seconds
Max Boomboxes At Once: 1 - 10 | None
Boombox Timer: 0 - 25 Seconds
Capture Boxes: On or Off
Infinite Energy: On or Off
Points Gained By: Tiles Claimed | Kills | Crushes
Respawning: On or Off
Invisible Territory: On or Off
Points to Win: 1 - 200

I mention these specifically for eSport value... I'd like to see something come of it (because at the core of Battery Jam it has the right stuff for tournaments). The more the marrier to increase the variety of games and gamers available to take part in eSports action. Seriously.

You have various ways to be strategic in your matches. One of my techniques involves raising tiles around those that I've eliminated... then I place those raised tiles next to a boombox. I'll send the box in the direction of the opponent once it gets ready to go... boom, and then I raise a tile behind it so they can't return to sender. I have another but I'm going to keep that tucked in my back pocket... just in case.

You can raise tiles to send opponents flying, eliminate tiles to send them for a swim, use boomboxes to crush or explode near enemies, shoot to stun enemies and dash over lava in your fight for victory. The controls are super simple to make this happen and took less than 5 to 10 minutes for me to catch on.


Visually... I think the game is very clean with eye-catching characters and arenas. The gameplay can be fun and addictive too... under the right circumstances. When it comes to the audio, it sounds like something made for the arcade... based on the SFX. The music is pretty good too, nothing annoyed me to the point of muting it, so that's a plus. For all the audiophiles in the room... you might appreciate the explosions in this game if your headphones have a rumble feature.

One of the cons in this game is the lack of online play. That hurts this game for the people who lack visitors and don't care to play with bots, playing against bots gets stale... quickly (for me at least). Being able to play with others... changes that, which is why this game should (eventually) have an online mode. Sooner than later would be best... trust me.

Another con... is one that's a con for certain people under specific circumstances and that's the price. Battery Jam is... $14.99, and this is a decent price for someone with friends to play with... or someone who has plans to host a tournament, but not the single player guy or gal who rely on the internet to connect with other gamers. That's when the game becomes pointless (at least to some), but that could change under the circumstances that a single player campaign is developed around these characters.

I'd also recommend giving us the option of increasing the size of the area, especially in the event that online play becomes available, which could be followed up by an option of 4 vs 4 gameplay (possibly). In any event, the sweet spot for this game would be $9.99... unless online play is pending (if it is... let the people know!).

Overall, Battery Jam is a pretty cool game... with vibrant arenas, nifty characters, crisp audio, and smooth gameplay worthy of eSports action. I think that's where its true potential will shine, until then... I hope the developers continue to add the right touches to make this game worth the price.

Fun fact: Battery Jam began as a student project.

Fun factor: 3

Visually: 5

Replay value: 3

Price: 3

"3.5 / 5 Cool Points"




Brought to you by the... Baby Fu Clothing Co!