Slam Land (PC) Review

Developer/Publisher: Bread Machine Games || Overall: 8.0/10

SLAAAAAAM LAND!! Amaze a giant blue man!!  Poetry comes in all shapes and sizes.  Wait, that doesn’t make any sense.  Poetry is words.  Ummmmmm… anyway.  Just keep saying “SLAAAAAAAM LAND!!!” over and over as you play this game and you’ll get the idea, maybe.  I don’t really know where I’m going with this.

Slam Land, also known as “SLAAAAAAM LAND!!” is basically an ultra-simplified Super Smash Brothers clone.  Your objective is to put things into a hole which, depending on the map, can look like a monster or an open tree stump, or a giant blue man’s face.  Depending on the game mode, the thing you are slamming into said hole will be other players, trash, horse heads, or a peanut.  Each of these different game modes slightly modifies the game formula to make the strategy a bit different.

In the normal mode where you slam other players, they’ll earn you points for each slam.  You’ll have to grab them however you can, and you’ll have a couple of seconds to point them in the direction of the whole to slam them in.  Trash mode is a bit more straightforward where there will be a lot of trash dropping throughout the level, and you’ll want to collect as many of the individual trash items as you can before slamming them.  Horse mode will spawn randomized horse heads with a particular letter in the word “Horse” and the first to complete the word wins; this mode may not always have a letter you need up so it is to your advantage to sabotage other players’ efforts until you can find one you need.  In Peanut mode, the peanut item will gain value the longer it is held by any player, so it is to your benefit to delay slamming it for as long as possible and prevent others from getting it from you.

And, that’s pretty much the game.  It is very simple — no “campaign” mode or unlocking things, or progression.  It is a party game that you’ll want to play with your friends as part of a large variety of other similarly-styled titles.  There are bots (with varying difficulties) to play with if you want to play alone and learn how the game functions, but it is definitely made to be played with three of your friends.  In general, I’d say the game is fun, but would only be so in small doses.  Playing for about an hour by myself, I was able to get a good grasp of just about everything the game offered, so I’d estimate it holding attention in a party for around that unless people really got into it for some reason.

The game’s art is unique, having the sort of ultra-detailed “Adventure Time-esque” style that is popular nowadays.  A few things look weird or don’t “make sense” on purpose to give more of a visual flavor.  The five different characters’ appearances can also be swapped to several different color palettes, so there’s plenty of variety to shift through and find something you like.  However, until you get used to the visual chaos of what is going on on the screen it can be very hard to figure out which one you are, and you’ll often lose tracking of your character.  Since characters basically blow up and respawn elsewhere on the map, it happens quite a bit, and is probably the only downfall of the game.  In other titles there might be some sort of text flying above the character (such as “1P,” “2P,” etc.) to help identify who is who, but I have no idea if that would help at all in this situation.

Generally I don’t try to knock against games that are purposefully simple.  Slam Land is probably a good title to have when going through a bunch of different party games.  It has a unique art style, simple-to-understand gameplay, and most importantly, pretty fun.