BATTLLOON recently joined the many local multiplayer games swimming around the Switch eShop. A true pick-up-and-play title, BATTLLOON throws players into an arena surrounded by deadly spikes. Your goal is to push everyone else into those spikes and be the last man standing. That’s the long and short of it–there are no other modes, no single player, no online, and no real long-term legs for this game. BATTLLOON is far from a local multiplayer necessity, especially in a post-Super Smash Bros. Ultimate world, but it is also a solid supplementary sort of title, good for some cheap variety in your rotation.
This is a slow-paced race to push other players into the spikes bordering the stage. Flying rocks and energy balls spice things up, and trampolines, fans, and other obstacles add extra layers of strategy to a game that successfully stays fun and exciting even though characters often move at a snail’s pace. Even once your character dies, you can still participate in the match and steal a kill as a severely underpowered ghost. At the end of each round, points are awarded based on how long you survive and how many kills you earn, with a bonus for wiping out whoever was in the lead to start the round. The match ends once someone reaches the predetermined score limit.
The game offers a few different characters, each with slightly different attributes and stats. The heavyset pufferfish character is the easiest to dominate with. His absurd size makes him hard to avoid, tough to push, and easy to get walloped by. But he is by no means unbeatable–the small roster includes other capable competitors such as a balloon, an octopus, and a ball of… something. They all have different advantages that change their speed, weight, and handling. There are different arenas as well, all with nice pixel art backgrounds and slightly different layouts and obstacles.
At the end of the day, though, BATTLLOON is nothing more than what I’ve already described. It’s a very light, simple game. There is no online multiplayer, no AI fighters, and no single player mode. Any variety in the stages or even the gameplay is nonexistent. BATTLLOON is hardly more sophisticated than some Mario Party minigames. As such, its slow-paced take on bumper cars can get old pretty fast. You cannot expect it to provide long sessions, even if you can get a few good rounds out of it at any given time.
Like many other eShop multiplayer titles, BATTLLOON is a decently fun, unique, and budget-friendly supplement to more complete multiplayer experiences like Super Smash Brothers Ultimate and Mario Kart 8. However, it is bested by many of its download-only peers–you are doing yourself a disservice if you pick up BATTLLOON before investigating alternatives like Ultimate Chicken Horse and Towerfall. Still, it is by no means a bad purchase, provided you are okay with a bare-bones but good time.
A review code was provided by the publisher.