BattleBlock Theater is a quirky platformer game for PC and Xbox.
Click a title to learn more about each topic.
Story & Themes
A group of friends is traveling by boat when a storm wrecks their ship. The main character wakes up on an island inhabited by horrible cats. The cats capture you and force you to join the theater. Each night you must go through a deadly obstacle course and gather gems onstage in front of a crowd of cats.
Your friend Hatty, who had been on the ship with you, has been possessed by an evil hat given to him by the cats. He now manages the theater. As you collect gems you can unlock the other characters who were on the ship with you and play as them.
The game is very cartoonish and full of irreverent humor, mostly provided by the friendly yet menacing narrator.
The game definitely encourages teamwork. If you play multiplayer as a family you can help each other through the level. It gives players lots of opportunities to work together to find the best strategy.
The player can save at the end of each level. The levels are around ten minutes long.
The game isn't difficult to learn, but some of the challenges can be pretty hard. It takes a lot of dexterity, especially in later levels. There is a normal mode and an insanity mode.
Violence The violence in BattleBlock Theater is pretty cartoonish, though graphic enough to warrant the T rating. Your cartoon character can explode (with animated bones and chunks), get impaled on spikes, get electrocuted, eaten by strange animals, and more. You also fight cats and other characters with weapons like bombs. The violence is played for laughs, and the narrator will occasionally admonish you for dying. None of the violence is photorealistic.
Scary Imagery There is some disturbing imagery, most notably when your friend Hatty is forced to wear the cursed hat, and you are captured by cats. Most kids will likely be fine with the morbid, surreal humor of the game.
Strong Language Crude humor is right there in the T rating of the game. BattleBlock Theater makes a lot of poop jokes that will no doubt be delightful for kids—including a character who poops himself to death, complete with a silhouetted sequence of spraying diarrhea. This game will no doubt introduce "what the fart" into your kids' lexicon. The narrator also comes close to swearing several times; instead of saying the s-word, he'll start to say "sh-" and then stop himself and say poop instead. It's played for comedic effect. Other than that, there is no swearing in the game.
Consumerism There are references to other games by The Behemoth in BattleBlock Theater, which can spark interest in their other games. Other than that there is no consumerism.
Discrimination The block-like player characters of the game appear to be without gender. You can customize them however you like, and choose from a variety of colors. They are humanoid, but not human. In a sequence where the narrator discusses your friends, only one of the described characters appears to be a woman. Another one is a one-eyed block person with a mustache who appears to be wearing makeup, whom the narrator describes as a "thing," in what could be meant as an offensive joke about transgender people.
You can play the game online with other players through Xbox Live. If you have voice chat enabled, you could encounter players with foul language and bad teamwork. This is a common issue for online multiplayer games. The game also allows local co-op so you can play as a family.
- What makes this game funny?