Roll up your shirt and jeanshorts
and partake in the greatest death sport
Slap a bestie on their face so pretty
welcome to Slap City
Put on your finest speedos
knock some sense into all these weirdos
Crush a Ruby without remorse or pity
welcome to Slap City
Remember Super Smash Bros. back in its glory days (i.e. the time of Super Smash Bros Melee), when mechanics were more advanced, allowing for more competive play? Well, Slap City is here for you, without needing to own a console from Nintendo to play. Yet, the game is still great fun for newcomers as well, as players can slap one another in a silly manner, or get an idea of how the game works in the tutorial. While character animations are a bit stiff, it’s a game that offers a lot of entertainment value.
Man, I’ve been talking a lot about Smash Brothers lately. You getting tired of me yet?
Created by Ludosity, the makers behind Ittle Dew and Princess Remedy, the game features nine playable characters, which are taken from Ludosity’s previous titles, including Ittle Dew herself, Masked Ruby from Card City Nights, Princess Remedy, and Jenny Fox from Ittle Dew. Each character comes with their signature moves, like Ittle Dew’s raft for edgeguarding (knocking the opponent downwards while in the air), Jenny Fox’s axes for throwing, and Princess Remedy’s zoner-like, pill throwing skills. The ninth character just got released with the 1.0 update: Frallan, whose moveset is reminescent of Princess Remedy’s.
The game plays a lot like Super Smash Bros. Melee — wavedashing, directional air dodge, L-canceling, moonwalking, smash attacks, double-jumping, special attacks, knocking the opponent off-screen with enough damage built — you name it. Everything about the mechanics from Melee has returned. But it brings some new components to the table, such as:
- Each character has a unique in-air smash attack
- Clutch maneuver that reverses the direction your character is facing
- No stale modifiers (i.e. doing the same attack over again doesn’t decrease in damage %)
- Some smash attacks are unique. For instance, Down Smash can cause the character to fall backwards, and the move can be repeated a few times, or it can allow another character to “reload” their ammunition
- One particular character has a forward air-attack that can be “charged”
These are some great additions that allow for an even wider variety of playstyles, keeping your opponent guessing as to when the best time to strike is. For example, not only can the clutch be used during an attack to throw your opponent off, it can also be a lifesaver just as you’re about to reach the blastzone (knockout boundaries) after getting hit. The clutch will reverse your momentum, meaning that the sooner you perform the clutch after flying, the closer you’ll get to the stage and therefore have a more successful recovery.
Players who are new to this type of fighting will not be left in the dark here, as there is a great tutorial mode. The tutorial is very interactive with the player, giving them everything they need to get a basic grasp on how the game works. You can also read about the various mechanics that are available in-game, what they do, and how to do it, as well as get a bio on each character and what their moves entail.
As Slap City has just reached it’s 1.0 release a few days ago, I figured I go ahead and leave a review on the game. Needless to say, I love it, just as I did during the two-and-a-half years it was in Early Access. Let’s go over some of the game modes.
The original roster of eight characters prior to the 1.0 release each have their own story. They all have a different purpose — whether it’s to uncover their past, climb the corporate ladder, seek fame and fortune, or do some grocery shopping — but in the end they fight their way to the top of the (literal) mountain and find the corrupt mayor. The mayor, which looks like an owl in a suit, is thwarting all of your plans and is trying to take over the world with his secret weapon: the KLONK.
Regardless of the character you choose, each of the levels are the same. Most of them consist of platforming challenges, while battling your way to the finish line and facing off enemies. You may be hopping between a bird and a moving vehicle while trying to avoid touching the highway, or find yourself in a maze where you have to find crystals to smack in order to lower a gate to proceed. Enemies include a bone-throwing skeleton, self-exploding TNT boxes with arms and legs, and green-colored ghosts that vaugely resemble the ghost from Pac-Man*, who drop bits of acid from their…bottom. Other stages may pit you against another character for a 3-stock match, or you may be put in an arena where you’ll have to fight waves of enemies in order to proceed.
Each character’s story takes about an hour to finish. Most levels, before or after entering them, will present a dialogue of the character you’re using and someone else. Reading these texts will give you clues as to figuring out your character’s personality and their background. You may also pick up on some references if you’ve played the main game that your character stars in. In addition to this, skins for your character can be unlocked by collecting the various collectibles scattered about in each stage. You can also unlock more music tracks, art work, and other goodies.
Think of it like Classic mode in Smash*. Fight against various characters — be it a one-on-one, a team match, fighting a bunch of clones of yourself, etc. Win to proceed to the next event. A few events will be bonus rounds, such as slapping a ball around and sinking it into a ring to earn points. You can adjust the difficulty and number of lives you want prior to starting this. Then, after clearing Arcade mode, you can check your record times in the Records menu (these records are local only).
Smack The Crystals
Break the Targets! The higher the difficulty, the more hands that get in your way — touching these red hands will damage your character. If the character gets hit enough, they could fly off stage. Try to clear for the best time! Turn it on the highest difficulty and even seasoned players will have a good challenge.
I won’t get into much detail here, since many of the modes are similar to Smash — Free for all, team battle, last man standing, etc. But I will mention there is no items at all in this game. This is something that I particularly like, as items tend to just kill fighting games altogether. I will also say there’s 32 stages: some of which include a driving bus on the highway, an office filled with laser traps and a busy road, and a casino-themed stage that contain pins which will make your character retract in pain if touched.
One thing that stands out here, is Slap Ball. This game mode is similar to how one would play basketball. A ball gets thrown around, and there’s a net at each end of the stage. Slap the ball with one of your attacks to send it forward or backward, and make it land inside the hoop. Fight off your enemies to keep them at bay, giving you a chance to hit the ball without retaliation. Think of it sort of like Rocket League. It’s a pretty fun mode, but sadly, in all the time I’ve played online, no one plays this mode.
Speaking of online multiplayer, we do have this. I’m not sure if the netcode is delay-based or is using rollback, but lately many of the players I’ve been playing against have a pretty high ping. One match was very laggy, while fighting another opponent with a similar ping brought almost no slowdowns. So matches can be hit or miss.
Up to four players can play locally or online, and you can add CPUs locally if you don’t have anyone to play with. Players can participate in ranked matches online, or they can play casually in teams or free-for-all style by creating or joining a lobby. During Early Access, a lot of the time the lobbies were empty, but starting today, lobbies have been filing up, and during the last month the number of peak players was over 200.
It’s a bit too early to predict, but since the 1.0 release it seems players still prefer 1-on-1 matches, play on a competive stage, and play competively. Sadly, this can discourage newcomers, and I hope the more experienced players can welcome the new players in by going easy on them and allowing four players to play at a time. Another aspect that’s somewhat frustrating is when there actually is a four-player lobby, the people who are in it only accept certain people; others aren’t allowed to play even though the lobby is public.
All of this is in addition to Training Mode. Though options are fairly limited in comparison to other fighting games, you can still toggle the visibility of hitboxes, set a few different behaviors on the CPU, and view attacks frame by frame.
Here’s some online gameplay footage:
Since the game has native GameCube controller compatibility, this somehow causes Proton to crash. You’ll need to disable GameCube support with the launch parameter:
If any of you play the game with a GC controller, let me know if it still works after issuing this launch parameter. Other than that, the game should work just fine. You’ll have three different backends to choose from before playing:
I’ve noticed there’s virtually no difference between any of them. To enable DirectInput support, force the game to use Steam Input. Check the reports on ProtonDB for more information.
As far as Linux support is concerned, one of the developers mentioned in the Steam Forums:
Please don’t take this as confirmation, but I think we should have both Linux and MacOS in time for 1.0.
Other than that I don’t have much else to report for Linux plans.
If you’re craving for a Smash Bros. fix, Slap City is defintely something you want to look into. There are a ton of Smash clones out there, but in all honestly, Slap City is the best, most polished one I have tried, yet distinguishes itself by bringing a number of new aspects to the game, giving it fresh experience. You can pick up Slap City on Steam or Humble Bundle.