The wait for the next Super Smash Bros. is proving to be downright agonizing, but Ludosity is setting out to ease the burden with their fighter Slap City on Steam Early Access. The percentage-based mechanic and platform-based combat both made the jump, but does it do enough to stand out from Nintendo’s fighter?
Boot up Slap City, and it is apparent to see that it is an homage to Super Smash Bros. The stylized menus, options, and even character select screen are clearly a spitting image. However, compared to games like PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale that try to do their own thing, the level of detail to this homage works in this game’s favor.
The mechanics are more or less what you’d expect. Every one of the five characters has a double jump move, along with a special attack and a standard attack. Both of these moves can be altered based on the direction of the analog stick when using, with different combinations offering different abilities. The game is a little different in that it offers a dedicated button for strong attacks, which are not unlike Smash attacks. It’s not exactly a welcome addition, and makes things a little more needlessly complex, but it is far from a deal breaker.
Advanced gameplay mechanics also made the jump too. Fast falling, teching, air dodges, rolling, and even dash cancelling (read: wavedashing) are all present and accounted for, and help to give the game some serious legs in the competitive circuit. There’s even the ability to see your hitbox and break things down frame-by-frame.
However, the game’s general flow will make it or break it for some people. Unlike the speedy mechanics of Super Smash Bros. Melee, Slap City is somewhat floaty. Sure, its lack of items will appeal to purists, but even with a dash mechanic it feels like it takes a while to go anywhere. Those weaned on the original Super Smash Bros. might care for it, but it’s not the perfect recipe for finishing off opponents.
Thankfully, each character and stage was designed with care. Featuring elements from the indie games Ittle Dew, Space Hunk, and Princess Remedy, stages take place on buses, pinball cities, nighttime cityscapes, and more. There’s something to be said about each design – there are no generic stages or gimmicks to be found. Its healthy selection means that there is something for everyone here.
Outside of the main battle mode, players can also participate in free-for-all fights, team battles, team free-for-alls, and Slap Ball. Most are self explanatory, but in the case of the latter, players must escort a ball to the opponent’s goal. It can get a little hectic, but it is still a fun mode.
Slap City takes a number of elements from Super Smash Bros., but it takes all of the right things. Some may dislike the game’s floatier physics, but this fighter is shaping up to be Ludosity’s answer to Nintendo’s flagship series.
Check it out on Steam here.