Addictive training simulation game
Train to become the greatest fighter and find your father's murderer in Punch Club. Looking at the name, it is easy to assume that it is a fighting game. However, the game is more of a training simulator and an addictive one at that. It is a fighter management sim that combines RPG and tycoon elements. It stars a young, shirtless man who trains hard to become the best fighter around.
Climb the ranks
The story of the game starts with the tragic death of the protagonist's father. This explains the rationale behind his goal of becoming the toughest dude on the block. Everything after that is mostly just training.
You play the game by selecting from different menu items and actions. All of which will be performed by your character. The core of the game is to choose opponents, which you will fight. Fighting in the game is hands-off. You will need only to select and initial two-function moves suite for your character.
The moves can be a punch and a dodge or a low kick and block, which set the procedural move rotation for each round. You can adjust the move set after every round. Fights are rewarded with coins, which you can use to unlock more moves. Eventually, you can use these tokens to change the number of your moves to three specific styles of fighting. The more you train and get rewards, the higher you climb the ranks.
On the downside, the gameplay is limited. Sure, you can earn moves by purchasing them with your earned coins. But everything still devolves into just selecting menu items. More, the difficulty can be a pain too. The opponents you'll face are very sporadic. Sometimes you'll face a way too powerful opponent only to face a weakling afterward. Moreover, sometimes you face an opponent who is weaker than you, yet you still end up losing.
More than fighting
Punch Club is not just about you gaining ranks by defeating opponent after opponent. You will also be juggling friendships, love life, work, recreational time, and possible stardom. Every decision will matter, especially in your social life.
From the map, you can go to various places. You can go to your construction job to earn money, or you can go to the gym to increase your fighting stats. You can also go to the grocery to buy your food, and even go home to sleep, eat, and watch Television.
Punch Club maximizes your parameters to include aspects of life, such as hunger, happiness, and money. Juggling these locations and activities can be odd at first, but once you get the hang of it, it will be addicting.
An homage to the 90s
Punch Club comes with retro visuals with pixel-perfect characters and environments, which will remind you of the 16-bit era. Sure, it may look old-school, but everything in the game is lively with smooth animation, detailed backgrounds, and appealing color schemes.
The game also complements the graphical style with retro chiptunes and sound effects, forming an authentic early 90's feel. More so, Punch Club comes with very dry humor. There are a lot of funny moments, especially when you interact with some of the NPCs.
Addictive in short burst
All in all, Punch Club is the kind of simulation game that is addictive, but in short bursts. If a training simulator appeals to you, this game is worth picking up. However, with its minimal gameplay, it likely won't inspire you to play it every day.