Fly Punch Boom!
Developer: Jollypunch Games
Publisher: Jollypunch Games
Genre: Fighting, Action, Party
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 7
Release Date: 28/05/2020
A code was provided for review purposes.
The Punchies are a strange, sexless race that reproduce through combat – you heard me correctly! When these creatures fight, it generates a massive amount of power which leaves stars and galaxies in their wake.
The lore page explains the workings of these strange entities in more detail. There’s no real story, per-say, but each character has a motivation for fighting which you can find out in their unlockable backstories.
There are 10 Punchies to unlock in Fly Punch Boom: each one has their own unique ability which can be activated by collecting a green star fragment which appears on the level. However, apart from each character’s unique looks and abilities, they all have the same ability to fly and kick ass at a moments notice.
Fly Punch Boom! has a very typical combat system that uses a Rock, Paper, Scissor mechanic. During clashes, there is a small opportunity to chose how you attack, and each move wins over its opposing attacks. For example, Y-hit beats A-throw, A-throw beats X-counter, and X-counter beats Y-hit. It’s a lot take in when you’re first starting out and trying to remember what beats what is frustrating.
Not only will you have to remember what beats what but you will also contend with other mechanics like moving bars, flying, tackling, unleashing specials AND teleporting. At times, it is very overwhelming. There is a tutorial that helps and a manual too. It still wasn’t enough though as during the challenging encounters, I felt I couldn’t remember what needed to be pressed as everything moves at such a fast pace.
While an interesting take on the beat-em-up genre, I felt like there was a little too much going on and I couldn’t fully enjoy what game was offering.
There are 4 modes available to play in Fly Punch Boom: Arcade, 1 vs 1, 2 vs 2 and then there’s the Online Mode that offers the ability to host, join or enjoy a quick game.
Here’s a brief look through the options:
Arcade mode sees you fighting through all the characters to reach the final confrontation with the end boss. This mode allows you to unlock new back-stories for each character, as well as cosplay costumes. It is a decent mode, and even in its easy setting, it can still be quite challenging. Completing rounds will slowly level you up, and you’ll subsequently earn new titles.
The 1 vs 1, 2 vs 2 is pretty self-explanatory, allowing you to play locally against friends or with bots. Choosing 3 different difficulty settings and one of the 5 levels to fight on is a great mode to play with friends and equally challenging play with the bots. The limited number of levels is disappointing though.
The online play is pretty fun too. I only noticed a few times where the connection lagged a little. Other than that, it was a pretty solid and stable session. Over time, the repetitive combat became tedious, in my opinion.
While great in short bursts, this isn’t a beat-em-up that you play for countless hours as there aren’t really any moves to learn. However, you could form new strategies with friends in local play as the bots do prove a stiff challenge.
There are unlocks to be found, such as the 20 achievements and finding all the fatalities in the game. Plus, unlocking the extra back-stories and additional cosplay costumes for each character will take a while to unlock, providing some replay value.
Power of Flight
So, while combat mechanics leave a lot to be desired, there’s still fun to be had. One of my favourite things in the game is the ability to fly. It’s cool and feels as though you’re participating in some sort of anime-like fight school. It reminded me a lot of a Dragon Ball game when I first saw it, and the flying felt very responsive and fun to do. It made me think what this game could have been if it had focused on a more traditional beat-em-up formula – plus, I would have loved to see this in a fully 3D environment!
One of the coolest features in the game is the over-the-top fatalities which can occur when you knock your opponent out of the ring or when you smash your enemy into one of the many obstacles in the level. Each character has a health bar that slowly depletes over time during these head-on-head battles using the Rock, Paper, Scissors mechanics. Once your health bars reach zero, you can charge into an enemy and launch them either out of the ring into nearby danger or throw them into an obstacle on the level for an instant decapitation.
It depends on where you are in the level or what your enemy is being thrown. The fatalities are overwhelmingly ridiculous from flying into a massive cat balloon which explodes into a shower of cats to being crushed by falling buildings: there’s never a dull moment. Each one is satisfying to witness and makes the final blow all the more exhilarating to watch.
Awkward Battle System
One of my biggest gripes with Fly Punch Boom! is the overly complicated battle system which I’ve mentioned above. I would have preferred a game more like Dragon Ball with over-the-top moves and specials that didn’t make me have to memorise what beats what during head-on collisions. What we are left with are some exciting ideas bogged down by tedious, frustrating combat.
I struggled to remember what attacks won over others. For me, the whole experience became a test in memory – for a person with a short-term memory like myself; it isn’t something I found enjoyable.
Audio and Visual
The graphics in Fly Punch Boom! are really colourful, bright and quite eye-catching. They have a sort of meme look to them and, while not hugely detailed, the character designs are seriously weird, animated in a way that looks a little disturbing. The music in Fly Punch Boom! focuses on a lot of guitar riffs which suits high octane fighting, making you feel like you’re watching some crazy anime. The overall presentation is good, and I’ve got no negatives to say about it.
Fly Punch Boom! is a fun, if somewhat limited title. While flying around and causing crazy, over-the-top fatalities is exhilarating at first, it soon becomes complicated thanks to the battle system. It’s good to be different, and Fly Punch Boom! achieves that, but it doesn’t hold up during long play sessions, paling in comparison to other beat-em-ups in the genre.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase Fly Punch Boom! from the Nintendo eShop.
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.