Unstoppable Fist is a throwback to the arcade units of the 90’s, with a simple setup and an end goal of collecting the highest score possible – it is simple arcade bliss. The game play is made up of one single mechanic: punch everything until you die. It is not flawless by any means, but it meets the criteria for any successful iOS game – you can pick it up and be playing in seconds.
There are six points of contact on the screen, turning Unstoppable Fist into an evolved form of whack-a-mole. And with a touch of your finger, our nameless protagonist delivers a fistful of patriotism or a punishing kick to the enemy. With the inclusion of a vertical swipe, your arsenal is expansive enough to deal with anything on the screen. There is one major problem with this mechanic though; more than three enemies on the screen reveals the ever-so-slight sluggishness of the controls. Because of this, the difference in difficulty levels is far too extreme. Also our protagonist has a somewhat limited range, so for a number of enemies several seconds go by as you watch, unable to do anything. If an enemy comes hurtling along from the other side, it is almost impossible not to get hit, which feels cheap. A few tweaks to the range would make the game worth being played several hundred times more.
The pixel-art style is wonderfully crafted, and the animation is crisp, with every punch and kick delivered perfectly. But the smoothness of our protagonist only highlights the blandness of the enemies, whose animation cycles are repetitive and look out of place. But for the purpose they serve in the game, it may just be a minor complaint.
The audio design is the perfect complement to the visual aesthetics. Developers Ragtag Studios know just how good the soundtrack is, as they have released it as a standalone purchase. But it also shows how indie developers are looking at different revenue sources outside of an over-bloated in-app purchase system.
It is hard to complain about the lack of depth to the game, because of its price and that the game knows exactly what it is and what it is trying to do. The menus, options and the game play elements are all designed around simplicity. It does suffer from not having the longevity compared to other games of this style. Unlike Super Crate Box, it doesn’t the ability to be played for a minute on the train or for a half-hour in your house. But still, as a short blast for $0.99 it has enough going for it to be recommended.
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