Preview: Slam Bolt Scrappers

Fire Hose Games' Slam Bolt Scrappers may not have the easiest to remember name, but its gameplay is something you won't soon forget. The PSN-exclusive action-puzzler drops in "early 2011" and is already looking like an incredibly polished experience.

Combining several genres into something fresh, SBS tasks up to four players with beating up flying goblin-esque things that turn into Tetris blocks when defeated and then using their jetpack-wearing construction worker avatar to create a tower. Making squares of 4 (2x2), 9 (3x3), 16 (4x4), etc. will turn that section of the tower into a weapon, blasting the other team's tower, or creating a shield. Building the tower is incredibly intuitive to anyone that's played Tetris or Rampart.
The different colored blocks lead to different weaponry -- purple blocks make lasers, red spawns missiles and blue creates shields around the tower. There are also a few more colors with special powers. There's plenty of variety to wreak havoc on your enemy.

There are also power-ups for player's jetpack-sporting brawler, who can not only punch the construction block-creating ghouls, but also other players. Combatants can also collect shield or a dash attack power-ups to take out other players, so the game doesn't just revolve around protecting the tower, but yourself as well. If the construction worker is killed, a respawn bar starts filling up, which players can speed up through the quick-time event going on along the meter. It's already crazy enough just trying to build (and rebuild) the tower in the thick of battle, but watching out for your avatar adds a whole other level of complexity.

During our E3 hands-on time, we only got to try the battle mode, but there will also be a campaign mode. We've been told it will support 1-4 player cooperative gameplay "against a wide array of baddies, bosses, and challenges."

Slam Bolt Scrappers is looking really good and it's still got plenty of development time ahead of it. Demoing the battle mode felt like being dropped into the deep end of the gameplay. It was hard to follow exactly what was going on, kind of like someone watching Smash Bros. for the first time. We're looking forward to trying out SBS again in the future and really trying to grasp the hectic gameplay of this promising title.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.