Brotherly Love: What is this “Co-op” Crap?

Yes, they're running into a ... cat-thing

BattleBlock Theater

So Mommy and the baby are in transit to Colorado via Minneapolis and I’m home from work all week with the boys. They’re already huge fans of Castle Crashers, and a few weeks ago Mikey and I had noticed The Behemoth‘s new attempt at awesome, BattleBlock Theater. Looks like it’s high time I introduce them to … well, whatever the heck this is. I admit I wasn’t particularly sure, because honestly with The Behemoth’s team of crack…crack monkeys behind it, the only thing I’m sure of is that the T rating’s well deserved.

Suffice it to say an hour into the ridiculously fun story, the boys are enthralled and taking orderly turns playing with Daddy, and that’s saying something. We wound up taking alternating turns because unlike Castle Crashers, BattleBlock theater is strictly a two-player game in Story Mode. I’ll hand it to them, though, it’s a brutally fun co-op game: You can throw your partner across a gap, where he’ll stick out a hand to catch you and help you up, then you leap onto his head, jump onto a ledge, help him up and then accidentally toss him into a lake of acid. The boys loved every second of it. “I BURNED MY BUTT!”

We made it through the first 6 scenes before I was ready to pack it in for a bit. It was then I discovered a…speed run level? I don’t know what it was called or how we got there, since I wasn’t paying attention to closely to the level selection area, but it involved getting over a pair of robot cats, dropping a paper boat onto one of them and then sailing across an acid lake until you get launched via catapult across more acid. Unless you land on the second catapult, at which point you’re flung full-force into a set of spikes sticking out of the wall. Oopsie-doodle.

When I quit playing, Mikey and Joey started going at the level themselves and weren’t exactly grasping the full concept, despite successful prior gameplay with Daddy. Of course, that could’ve been the problem, because helping Daddy is something they want to do; helping each other is clearly a betrayal of their respective selves. It resulted in the following conversation:

Joey, chopping Mikey’s character into acid: “HAH TAKE DAT, MIKEY!”
Mikey, shoving Joey’s character into a lava pit: “NO YOU TAKE THAT!”
Mikey: “No I don’t, YOU lose!”
Me: “You guys know that in this game if one of you loses, you both lose, right?”
Boys: “WHAT?”
Me: “That’s how this game works.”
Boys: “…”

Fast forward about 2 minutes:

Mikey: “Yeah Joey, get him! I’ll throw you here!”

I wish I could say they made it through the level, but they certainly played well together for about another fifteen minutes before Mikey was done and Joey wanted to play Skylanders Giants. But for fifteen glorious minutes, there they were, happily beating up robot cats and endlessly repeating the game’s taunts from every time they failed.

“Aww, game too hard for poor baby?”


Mikey – “I think this is awesome, I give it a 5”
Joey – “I like de cats. Yeahh. I like shootin’ dem.”

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