Turtles aren’t the only animals who love pizza. According to Battlesloths, the titular mammals are much alike. This top-down shooter is all about nabbing tasty slices of cheesy goodness, in between slaughtering one another with nunchucks and laser cannons. It’s a solid title for local multiplayer, but solo riders will still be left hungry.
Sloths are dangerous, formidable creatures. Thought they simply lounged around all day? Think again. Here, they’ll scavenge guns and melee weapons that respawn around each map. Everyone dies in a single hit, but you have the ability to slide around on a hoverboard and dodge projectiles (split-second timing is all-too important with the latter, as it seldom seems to save your bacon most of the time). Plus, they do a silly dance when they win, which is nice.
There’s a fairly large amount of weapons to use, ranging from pistols and bows to shotguns and plasma rifles. The fully-automatic weapons feel pretty samey, and there’s little that differentiates them between one another. That’s not to say they’re not deadly, just samey. Melee weapons can deflect shots with a well-timed swing, and super weapons come with their own unique means of attack, like a spell book that lays mines. Since they don’t pack a lot of ammo, you’ll have to scavenge and swap between guns on the fly, and that can be a frantic and thoroughly enjoyable affair when you’re stuck in the middle of a firefight.
Each of the maps come in three different layouts, ranging from open and spacious to being filled with passageways and cover aplenty. They also come with various traps and gimmicks to look out for. Rushing water, explosive barrels and boulders of ice will no doubt complicate each battle. Some maps will even feature a nuke in the center; players will need to keep resetting the timer to avoid being blown up, and potentially losing points in the process. Some of these gimmicks are quite creative, and ultimately inject a wee bit more liveliness into each game.
When you’re starting the game off for the first time, the best place to start is Solo Mode. New weapons will be drip-fed to you as you progress through various challenges with pre-set rules and conditions for success and failure (e.g. get 10 kills without dying, collect 4 pizza slices before the bots do, etc.), making it a great way to familiarize yourself with the mechanics and content of the title. The whole shebang can be beaten in its entirety in about an hour, and there doesn’t seem to be any reward from completing all of these, so replaying them feels a bit pointless.
Party Mode is chock-filled with replayability, as you’ll have a fair amount of customizable features to fiddle with as you organize matches against up to three other players. Weapon types and traps can be toggled, speed can be altered, and team play is an opinion as well. However, the game modes on offer are fairly limited in number. The first two are obligatory for a title like this, i.e. Deathmatch and Last Sloth Standing. Alongside are modes that require you to collect pizza slices to bring back to your team’s spawning point; dead enemies drop them in Sloth Hunt but they’ll randomly respawn around the map in Golden Slice. Hey, at least wrestling with your opponents over Italian food is a lot more fun.
The amount of collectables on offer is staggering. With over 900 hats to unlock and decorate your sloth with, this might as well be a completionist’s worst nightmare. You’ll unlock plenty of these at a time from replaying Party Mode, but not Solo, oddly enough. There are no specific requirements to any of them, which makes nabbing them less frustrating, though it might take the joy out of it since you’re not exactly working towards a goal or trying to complete a challenge. In any case, you can plop all sorts of things on your head, be it food, wigs, a dingo eating yer baby, boomerangs sticking out of your brain, and so much more.
As for the visuals and music, they simply get the job done. Spraying pixelated blood and body parts in this one gets old fast, and the soundtrack is fittingly upbeat but wholly generic. At least the loading times and performance of the game on the Switch are nothing to complain about. Controlling the sloths does feel a bit slippery at first; it’ll become second-nature after a short whole.
Battlesloths is a bit like eating greasy pizza: it’s only somewhat satisfying when you tuck into it alone, yet it’s easier to appreciate when you’re with company. The challenge mode feels like an extended tutorial mode in disguise, and only provides limited entertainment. Pair yourself up with a few mates, and you’ll come to appreciate the frantic shooting and extensive customization on offer. On the whole, though, skipping out on this one is far from a deadly sin.
Review code supplied by Invisible Collective.