Home Game Reviews Punch Club: Pixel Knockout for Managers

Punch Club: Pixel Knockout for Managers

Punch Club Review

Punch Club Feature Picture
Punch Club

Title: Punch Club
Developer: Lazy Bear Games
Publisher: tinyBuild
Released: January 8, 2016
Platforms Available: PC Game, Mac Game, Linux, iOS, Android, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Platform Reviewed: PC Game
Maturity: Teen
Total time spent on game: 38h; 100% Achieve at 30h mark
Reading Time: 7 minutes

Boxing Strategy and Pixels

My time with Punch Club has been a fascinating one, surpassing my initial expectations. The game’s unique blend of management simulation and box fighting, akin to a fighter simulator, kept me engaged as I balanced training, work, and combat in my quest to uncover my father’s killer. When I first started, the tutorial walked me through the basics, and it was easy to get the hang of things. Especially since it is a point-to-click game, it is pretty intuitive. You have to keep an eye on your character’s energy, hunger, and mood. It is pretty straightforward, but as the game goes on, it will get much more complex. The opponents naturally get more challenging, and I had to think more about how to spend my time in the game to be more efficient. I used no guides, so it is possible to narrow down the playtime a lot.

Training and Combat

In terms of combat, the game uses a turn-based system where you select your character’s abilities and tactics before the fight starts. During the fight, the fight itself is automatic. You don’t directly control the character with the keyboard during fights, as they play out automatically. The training aspect is the most important thing you have to focus on. It is split into different exercises that boost your strength, agility, and stamina. I remember focusing a lot on agility at one point, using the jump rope and speed bag cause I previously neglected it, which could have worked better. It felt good to see my character getting better in fights, but doing the same exercises repeatedly started to drag a bit. I wish for more variety in the training options, to be fair, and maybe they should be more interactive as well, cause you don’t really do much, nothing at all actually.

Skills and Strategy

The game has a skill tree, offering a pretty developed system for customizing your character’s abilities and strengths. The tree is divided into categories, allowing you to allocate earned skill points to enhance various aspects of your character. Each skill provides specific benefits, from improving combat prowess with special moves to optimizing stat growth and managing daily activities. The tree’s branching paths encourage strategic choices, of course, depending on your fight style.

Nostalgic Graphics

The graphics are done in this pixel art style that’s very nostalgic-like, and any retro gamer will appreciate it, I certainly did. The character sprites are detailed, and the different places you visit, like gyms and fight arenas, are full of little touches and pixelated animations which I loved. There’s a lot of color, and the visual effects during fights are pretty cool too, it gives you the 90’s arcade feeling. I played it on my PC, and it ran smoothly without any issues. The game isn’t demanding on your PC, so you don’t need a high-end setup to enjoy it fully.

Sound and Solo Play

The soundtrack is upbeat and perfectly fits the game’s vibe. The sound effects, like the punches and ambient noises, add a lot to the experience, but if you are not a fan of arcade-like games, you might find the sound effects dated. The game has limited voice acting since it primarily relies on text for dialogue and storytelling. Punch Club is a solo game, so there are no multiplayer aspects.

Replay Value

The main story took me about 12 hours to get through, but there were a bunch of side quests and activities that kept me busy. I found myself going back to try different career paths and make different choices. There are multiple endings, so there’s a reason to replay it. I eventually decided to go for 100% achievements on Steam, which I highly advise, since it will take you through the whole game on the way.

User Interface and Technical Performance

The user interface is clean and easy to use. Everything is laid out clearly, and it’s simple to navigate. There are subtitles and some basic accessibility options. Still, I did wish there were more control customization options, although it was more retro this way, so again it had its charm. Technically, the game is solid. I didn’t run into any crashes or significant bugs. It runs well on both PC and mobile, so you can play it on the go if you want.

Managers Experience

Playing Punch Club, I felt like I was really managing the life of this fighter. There were times when balancing everything felt like a real challenge, but that’s part of what makes the game engaging. On the flip side, the repetition in training did get to me after a while, so I expect it to feel like a bit of a grind at times. The game has some interesting bits, like discovering an underground fight club! I really enjoyed this aspect of the game, as it allowed me to live out the “Fight Club” movie, one of my favorite movies of all time. You will know what I mean if you are a fan, too.

No Microtransactions

No microtransactions; the game is a paid title. Once purchased, you can access the full content without any additional in-game purchases. Compared to other management sims, Punch Club stands out because of its fighting theme and unique style. It’s got a mix of elements that make it different from the usual sim games. The retro graphics and soundtrack give it a distinctive feel that I particularly enjoyed.

Overall Impression

Overall, Punch Club is a solid game with much to offer. It’s challenging, fun, and has a lot of replay value. While it can get grindy and some things could be improved, like control options, it’s definitely worth playing.

Where to Buy Punch Club

Steam (PC, Mac, Linux): Available for $9.99. You can purchase it directly from Steam at 80% discount on Steam until 11 July 2024!

Xbox Store (Xbox One): Available for $9.99. Check it out on the Xbox Store.

PlayStation Store (PS4): The game is priced at $9.99. You can find it on the PlayStation Store.

Nintendo eShop (Switch): Available for $14.99. Purchase it from the Nintendo eShop at 75% discount until 18 July 2024!

GOG (PC, Mac): Available for $9.99. Purchase it from GOG at 80% Discount on Steam until 10 July 2024!

App Store (iOS): Available for $4.99. Download it from the App Store.

Google Play (Android): Available for $4.99. Download it from Google Play.

Subreddit: Join the discussion on the Punch Club Subreddit.


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