Punch Club

Title: Punch Club
Genre: Indie, RPG, Strategy
Developer: Lazy Bear Games
Publisher: tinyBuild
Release Date: 8 Jan, 2016

Click here for screenshots

 


Click here for the extended review

 

Punch Club, Punch drunk?

 

tinyBuild’s commitment to bringing games to Linux continues with Punch Club. Punch Club is a twist on the hundreds of management simulation style games available, but this one comes packed with oodles of nostalgia. Placed in the role of “Hero” or whatever you choose to call yourself, you are out for revenge. Searching for the man who killed your father. You’ll battle mutant crocodiles, join fight clubs, become a champion fighter and maybe even work for the Mafia! Its like every 80’s movie all squashed into one with a scattering of training montages.

 

Get in the ring. . .
Sounds great right? . . . Well it kind of is but its also a bit hollow. You see while it sounds like an action packed experience there is very little action in it. The fights are little more than selecting moves and then watching you character fight. There is little in the way of input until a round ends where you can reconfigure things a bit and try again. There obviously aware of this as they even added a speed increase option to remove some of the monotony from the experience.

 

Take is outside. . .
Outside of fighting you’ll spend much of your time training, why? Because everything you do degrades your stats in some way. Go to work and lose happiness, losing happiness makes training harder, so raise your happiness by fighting but fighting requires you to raise your stats. Starting to see the problem here? Your constantly fighting the game to find some kind of rhythm or balance but there isn’t one. Thankfully you can tone down the stat degradation or even turn it off completely which lets you enjoy the story. . .

Well it would. But when removing the stress of the balancing act you start to notice that its not that engaging, its OK! Now I’ve torn strips out of the game but its not that bad. Its a good distraction and while it might not be Shakespeare it bought a smile to my face multiple times.

For all the bad things there’s a lot here to like, from the colourful graphics to madcap moments. Even the sound tracks wonderful 8bit beeps and boops are a joy. Punch Club offers a good bit of fun and in a sale it would be well worth picking up, but maybe not at its full price.

 


Click here for bugs and fixes

 

Performance on Linux is fine as to be expected on a game like this that doesn’t push the hardware, but there is a bug if the game is set to full screen the game becomes unresponsive and you will have to kill the program and use the steam lunch command “-windowed” to get the game working again.

 


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