Punch Club Review

Written by Jake Tucker

January 22, 2016 | 09:17

Tags: #so-much-punching

Companies: #indie #tinybuild

Punch Club Review Punch Club review

Not that you could experiment much in the actual fighting. The game gives you complete control of everything your character gets up to, and then they actually get down to the fighting and your control slips back - you give your fighter a few different skills to choose from and turn them loose. In my case, this meant I lost a lot of fights when I was by far the stronger contender.

Except I'm not really sure if I was the strongest contender. There wasn't a great deal of documentation available in game and I found that often when I had trouble with a part of the game I had to go and read something online or turn to Twitter to help. My pet hate is having to read stuff online to work out a game rather than just picking things up from tooltips and experimentation so the fact I couldn't seem to work out why I kept losing was infuriating.

Progress became something of a slog. Instead of hitting opponents I was hitting a wall.

Punch Club Review Punch Club review

I found there's a lot of extra depth that slowly becomes apparent as you play. There are plenty of options available in most aspects of the game: You can eat beef to heal and fill yourself with energy or you can go for a quick snack and fill your days with energy drinks and crisps. Every aspect of the game has its options: for work you can toil away on a building site for the big bucks, or take it easy and deliver pizza from the restaurant near your house.

These options keep the tycoon aspect of Punch Club from feeling too stale, but the complexity feels somewhat obtuse. While playing the game I accidentally got far too strong, leaving me with barely enough energy to last longer than a round. Unfortunately, this only became clear after I purchased an upgrade meaning my strength wouldn't deteriorate beyond a certain level.

Combined with my early complaints though, all this really meant was more downtime to train up my stamina and eventually I was done. After fifteen hours and no meaningful progress for the later ten I gave up, disappointed.

Punch Club Review Punch Club review

I had a lot of fun with Punch Club and for the first five hours I thought I was in for the long haul, but too many instructions left unspoken and potentially some poor strategic decisions on my part meant a lack of forward movement.

From there I started to see a lot of the problems of the game up front, and as a result my enjoyment of Punch Club was cut short. There's a lot of good ideas here, and if it makes it that far I think the next iteration in the series will be able to work out a lot of the issues, but for now it's a swing and a miss.
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