Does Unstoppable Fist pack a mean punch?
A week or so ago, I got an unexpected message on Twitter from an upcoming indie iOS developer. I came to find out that this was from Ragtag Studios and they wanted to send me an early download code for their upcoming game: Unstoppable Fist. Of course, I accepted the offer and I’ve been playing it quite relentlessly every spare minute I can find when I’m away from home, but I’ve also found myself jumping into it for a few minutes at home too – something not common for me to do. But, enough of that, let’s get onto my impressions of the game.
Unstoppable Fist is a new game that has a classic feel to it. Reminiscent of the likes of Kung Fu and Street Fighter, Unstoppable Fist brings a new type of fighting style into the limelight in such a way that’s “new school,” but deceptively “old school” in its approach. How is this you ask? Well it’s quite simple actually — your fighter stands stationary in the centre of the screen and enemies start moving in towards him from both sides, which are easily defeated with a simple touch/swipe of the finger.
“Wow! That’s, like, the most amazing thing that I’ve ever seen!”
OK, ignore the sarcasm from my evil consciences that sits on my left shoulder that usually tells the all-too-honest truth, but I do get it – it doesn’t sound overly fun at first. But, you’d be missing out for simply passing over this great little app if you didn’t take a second to delve in a bit deeper. What makes the game so much fun is that the different types of enemies have different attack speeds and patterns they use to attack you with. There’s a high, mid and low attack space on both sides of the screen, so there’s a grand total of six places you’ll be frantically tapping to keep yourself alive as long as possible. At first, you’ll have your hero punching, kicking and missing most everything in a frantic bout of certain death, and to be honest, the first match or two can even be a little overwhelming. It doesn’t last long though, as that’s when you’ll realize that there’s a flow and pattern to the enemies approach.
“So like, I need to stay calm and collective, but… can I please wear my Ryu costume from Super Street Fighter EX Turbo when I play it?
Anyways, once you find yourself surviving for a few minutes into a match you’ll start seeing enemies attacking you at the same time. Here you’ll need to touch both sides of the screen – at the correct zone, of course – to unleash a jumping split-attack to deal with both of them at the same time. This part is actually pretty easy to adjust to, but the next part, well, it’s right about where the difficulty starts setting apart the boys from the men. Enemies on the same side of the screen attack simultaneously and you’ll need to swipe the screen up/down to unleash a powerful attack that can clear off an entire side of the screen. When you get to this point the enemies are attacking so fast, that it becomes a frantic mix of tapping and swiping, but never blinking. Allowing yourself to blink is the path to the dark side — also known as the bottom of the leaderboards.
So you’re not blinking and you’ve gotten to the swiping parts, but did you know that you’re only playing on the Easy Mode? Yep, there are three modes of play: Easy, Normal and Hard.
“Imagine that! Those are the most creative mode names ever! I’m… speechlessly… in… love… with… this… game!”
Hang on for just a second… SLAM!! OK. I think he’s gone for now… so where were we?
Oh yes, I remember. There are also three visual overlays to feast your eyes upon that can be unlocked. While these look great and change the enemy designs, they’re really nothing more than a just a visual change – even sharing the same leaderboards. Speaking of these, it’s the challenge of topping the leaderboard(s) that makes the game so overly captivating. While a local leaderboard would quickly get boring, thanks to every iOS device coming with Gamecenter preinstalled, everyone has access to these worldwide leaderboards. Trying to top them is not an easy feat though. I actually held the top scores for a time prior to release, but I’ve been pushed down a bit since then, but not by much. I’m hoping to rectify that soon enough though!
Unstoppable Fist fights its way onto the mass populace that is the iOS App Store with a fist of vengeance. Rockin’ chip tunes and 16-bit graphics paint the perfect canvas for its addictive old-school gameplay. Ragtag Studios has found the perfect mix of simple game design and fun, yet deep gameplay that fits onto the limitations of iOS devices. Definitely watch out for this studio in the future!
Unstoppable Fist is available for iOS devices and can be purchased from Apple’s App Store ($.99) here.