Review: Fly Punch Boom

I’m not really sure how to begin to explain what this game is like. Imagine an anime fight. If you haven’t seen one, it’s a lot of colours, over-exaggerated characters, explosions, disproportionate chaos (buildings being thrown etc.) and flying. And more explosions. And the colours. This is Fly Punch Boom.

There’s a plot here but, to prepare you, it’s mental. The characters that you can play as are Punchies. Punchies do not have sexual organs and instead reproduce through combat. So the fighting that you’re doing is actually…. um…. ignore the plot then. 

Thankfully it doesn’t really matter. The characters are all bright and colourful if a bit weird. There’s a monkey type man thing, a weird skinless rabbit with a heart for a face that wears flares, a skeleton with an afro. It’s all cell shaded and looks pretty tasty, it does a great job of playing like a cartoon. But how does it actually play? After combat games live or die on their fighting.

It’s a mixed bag if I’m honest. Whilst you’re flying about, you can smash buildings and bits of the environment around and into your opponents, but when you clash you embark on a rock, paper, scissors type game. When you engage, you push a button to decide on whether to attack, throw or counter. An attack beats a throw, a throw beats a counter and a counter beats an attack. It happens quickly and there’s a button timer meter to hit correctly in order for your option to register. Assuming amongst the chaos that it does happen, the luck element of what you pick doesn’t really sit well with me.

You could argue on some level that there is a skill to rock, paper, scissors. Reading your opponent, understanding their tendencies and patterns is a very important part of being an expert at this game. However, I’d argue for most casual players this will feel a bit random. There is a dedicated pro and esports community, suggesting that indeed this is a very important part of the game, but it never really clicked for me.

Options wise there are not masses to go at. Matches are either 1 v 1 or 2 v 2 and can be played offline or online. The pace of it suffers online on the Switch which may be down to the Switch’s online capability (which let’s be honest, isn’t great). 

Where does that leave us? Well, it’s a great anime-style fighting game. It’s over-the-top, it’s very attractive and fast-paced. But the underlying combat mechanism is probably a bit too simple for the more casual players and unless you want to really get into it competitively, your enjoyment I suspect will be short-lived.

Reviewed on Switch

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