Are you upset with normal games because they dare to ask you to use weapons? Are you tired of throwing fireballs, swinging swords, shooting rockets, and what-else-have-you when you know that real men just hit stuff? They hit stuff with THEIR FISTS! Raaaaaar! Fortunately it would seem that all of those fisticuffs deprived people out there are finally in luck, for Rocketcat Games has all the manly punching you can stomach in their recently released Punch Quest (out now, free).
Punch Quest challenges players to run through an evil lair of the undead as they punch their way through everything they come across: ghosts, bats, magicians, orcs, zombies, skeletons, etc. If it moves, you punch it! If it doesn’t move, you probably still punch it. After all, the number one way real mean search the environment for treasure is by punching it until it coughs up all of its shiny golden goodness! Real men also occasionally take breaks to ride on the back of velociraptors that shoots frikkin’ laser beams, because that’s just what awesome men do!
Manly men also keep things nice and simple, and so tapping the right side of the screen makes you perform manly punches with which to pummel all whom foolishly oppose your manliness! Where as tapping the left side of the screen makes you perform a leaping uppercut, because this is a game so manly that even the act of jumping must involve the act of punching! Occasionally – in some moments that are less than manly – you will also have to tap both sides together to block, but only for a second before you go back to punching everything in the face!
As you pummel everything left and right with the lordly power of your pugilistic abilities, while not letting unmanly things like getting hit occur, you will fill up the manly power gauge with the energy from all the destruction you are causing. The power gauge itself has three tiers of epicness, and as each tier unlocks you will activate another one of your manly punching abilities. The specific powers unlocked at each tier are fully customizable from the list of abilities you have already purchased using the most manly punching currency ever, the Punchos!
Punchos are earned when you punch valuable objects in the scenery, punch enemies carrying money, smash your way through treasure chests, as well as whenever you complete any of the special objectives given to you by Gnomey. Many of Gnomey’s special missions will require that you have specific abilities equipped to complete them, but thankfully Punch Quest will always tell you which abilities are needed for which quests. Those of impatience can also buy their Punchos through IAP purchases, but Rocketcat Games does not enforce this and the Punchos flow more than freely enough merely through the manly punching of things!
So you’re now a bad enough dude to punch your way through the entire army of the undead because that is what manly men do in their free time, so what could you possibly be missing? Hats, of course! Every manly man knows that it is important to look good while you punch a skeleton’s head off into the zombie behind it, and Punch Quest has more than enough manly hats to ensure that everyone can find a style best befitting their rage. Hats can either be purchased for Punchos, as well as sometimes be awarded directly to the player by Gnomey in recognition of their massively manly punching prowess!
Presenting all this epic testosterone fueled punching madness is a very nice looking 16-bit esque sprite based art motif. Especially amusing are many of the little details when you clobber your way through enemies, such as zombies exploding into a pile of organs that bounce off every which way. That said, this is a manly game of intense action and therefore you will not have much time to properly enjoy all these details if you are truly focusing on the pummeling you came here for!
Toning down the epicness for a moment, the fact of the matter is that Punch Quest is yet another Endless Runner game on the iOS… albeit one with an over the top epic manly presentation that will punch you in the face! That said, at the end of the day Punch Quest is still just an Endless Runner game without much in the way of variety or control complexity to mix things up. While the over top manly punching craziness will probably deeply amuse those who are already fans of the genre, those looking for deeper gameplay will probably get bored of the heavily repetitive simplicity.
iFanzine Verdict: Punch Quest is a rather simplistic representative of the endless runner genre, but one that also delivers a metric ton of epic manliness out of every orifice. Those who are deeply amused by the presentation of Punch Quest will probably find themselves hopelessly addicted to the game, despite its extreme simplicity. Those who are looking for a more complex game, however, should probably just stay away from this game as deep is one thing that Punch Quest is not.