Punch Club, an Indie RPG Boxing game concocted by the enduring creators at Lazy Bear Games, and published by tinyBuild, initiates the players will to fight by showing the main character’s father get shot before your very eyes. Promising to train hard and reclaim his legacy, the player will regulate the main character’s training while hitting the gym, buying groceries, doing his day-job and even beating up mutant reptiles in the underground sewers. All of this will raise the player’s boxer to the highest string of fighters, eventually becoming the best of the best, but first he’s got to get knocked down a few times. The story in Punch Club is the perfect juxtaposition of boxing movies like Rocky, and martial arts movies like Ip Man. The connection to family, friends, and mentors all encourage the journey to become a better fighter and finding what you fight for. It may sound cheesey, but the story is endearing and easy to get behind if not taken too seriously.
Graphics and animations
With its meticulously designed sprite-work, boasting smooth animations and detailed character models and environments, Punch Club exercises a great visual style. While the independent market of video games sometimes leans on the nostalgia of gamers, creating a pixel based game to cut down on costs. Punch Club does this to retain its story and style, it feels and oozes the time period it’s trying to represent. Similarly to how Hotline Miami was a fever dream of VHS and 16-bit violence. Punch Club’s approach to style is producing a feast for the eyes with it’s artistic creativity of the past with the technology of the present.
When I think of good training montages, I think of the perfectly behaviored music that was attributed to said scene. And when Punch Club is almost half of the time a training montage, you expect it to have some awesome and memorable music. The music is similar to Punch-Out’s music, very energetic and adrenaline offering. And similarly to its artstyle, the design of the soundtrack is merely giving tribute to the great anthems of the past while being something fresh and new.
What is this game?
The game could be described as almost entirely pointing and clicking. You click on tasks, and micromanage activities on how the main character uses his time. Punch Club is a maintenance game, a game about choices. You won’t ever directly throw a punch with a controller. Instead you try to maximize the clock by choosing what your boxer should do. Should he get a bite to eat? Which job should he do? Which stat should I invest in? and Which fight moves should I use on my opponent? are going to be a few of the many questions you’ll ask yourself while playing Punch-Club. The stats are Stamina, Strength, and Agility and they all correlate to how you will play the game, resulting in many different paths you can take and guaranteeing an abundance of replayability.
Would you enjoy it?
With this much ceaselessness of entertainment and quality, Punch Club is the perfect game if you’ve always enjoyed fighting movies. With multiple endings it strives to be in your library for the mere 10 dollars it asks of you. Minus a divisive publicity stunt relating to Twitch viewers having to beat the game in order to release it early. Punch Club is a great management sim. But it may not be for everyone, if you enjoy constant action this isn’t the game for you. But if you enjoy watching solid governing, executing strategic skilltree sets, and seeing the fruit of your labors as the bodies go limp for the count. Punch Club doesn’t only win the round for you, it TKO’s you with a single punch.