Punch Quest Packs A Heckuva Punch For A Pocket-Sized Game [Review]



Punch Quest by Rocketcat Games
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Price: Free

Released at the end of 2012, Rocketcat Games’ Punch Quest isn’t the newest game to hit the App Store. However, as a former Flappy Bird player (yes, I admit it!) I was interested to see what else Apple’s recommender algorithms would suggests to me in terms of a substitute constant runner requiring precision-tapping.

Following those recommendations brought me to Punch Quest.

Punch Quest is pretty much a quest where you punch things. Like so many successful iOS game it basically takes a video game premise/paradigm — in this case a platformer — and strips it down to its most essential elements — in this case running and punching. Your left hand controls jumping, your right does the bulk of the punching, and the running is automatic — as if the action takes place on a giant treadmill, although you can choose to speed up or slow down within this setup.

There are a metric ton of upgrades and power-ups for you to take advantage of on your, err, punching quest.

There’s not a whole lot more to it but, in fairness, there doesn’t need to be. As a longtime fan of platformers, one of my big problems with efforts to translate the games to iOS devices — without the aid of an iOS controller — is that the multi-touch screen, while great for a whole lot of things, isn’t best suited for games which require D-pads. Too often what we end up with are awkward floating virtual buttons, which take what should be an intuitive playing experience and turn it into an overly-fiddly effort. Punch Quest solves a lot of those problems. There are thankfully no virtual buttons in sight, and what initially sounds — or seems — like a 2-D game in the “lacking any kind of depth” sense turns out to have a surprising amount of it.

While it’s certainly possible to play Punch Quest as a button masher, the further you get the more you realize that to maximize points and effectiveness you’re going to need to master pinpoint accuracy and a surprising amount of tactics. Despite only having two buttons (the aforementioned right thumb/left thumb) combo, Punch Quest lets you string together attacks in a range of inventive ways. The combo system, for example, lets you launch enemies into one another — while Supermoves can be unlocked by fulfilling certain criteria.

“The combo system … lets you launch enemies into one another.”

Visually the game is pretty stunning, with a variety of detailed backgrounds and enemies — everything from walking skeletons and ghouls, to dinosaurs — that never let you get bored. This is perhaps best played in short bursts, but these are nonetheless short bursts that will have you returning to the game. There are plenty of entertaining power-ups and available upgrades, too, and one of the advantages of Punch Quest now being a couple of years old is that more and more has been added to it in its various updates. (The most recent one being 12 December last year.)

If you always thought Flappy Bird could do with a few more bouts of fisticuffs, this might just be the game for you.

Oh, and did I mention it’s free?

Screen_Shot_2014-02-13_at_07Game Name: Punch Quest
The Good: Inventive, action-packed, and with an unexpected amount of depth, Punch Quest comes highly recommended.
The Bad: So long as the game concept appeals to you, it’s difficult to think of too much to criticize.
The Verdict: Punch Quest comes top of its class. It may be over a year old by this point, but it still qualifies as a must-have for iOS gamers.
Buy from: App Store