Touch KO is a boxing game for the iPhone/iTouch platform released by Chillingo. A developer that has already released a laundry list of games into the App Store. Many of which are very good. Such as Zen Bound, MiniGore, iDracula and Bike or Die. Amongst many other titles. Luckily this game sites comfy in the good category of this studios list of games.
The game, if you couldn’t guess. Is boxing (shock shock). The flow of the game is smooth with no confusing parts or need to sit and configure a bunch of stuff. My opinion. This is important for portable games. If the game is too in depth it loses it’s appeal as a pick up and play title that you would site and play while waiting somewhere or just a quick time waster. Mobile games, in America anyways. Should stay simple and quick. I say America because As I observed in Japan. There train rides can be very long and a quick easy game just doesn’t cut it.
The games presentation, like most other portable games, is a little lacking. No flashy cutscenes or story to be told. The
menu system is clean and simple. One big issue I found was the lack of a pause screen while in game. If a call comes in this is an even bigger issue as the match just ends and you have to start it over. Hopefully this will be fixed in an update. But not having a pause for the 1.0 is baffling. Esspecially for a game that will be on a phone.
The game controls as simple and very easy to get use to. You simple tap or swipe to initiate a type of punch. Tapping on the left or right side of the screen will cause a quick left or right jab. Swiping from left to right and vice versa will cause left and right hooks. And swiping from bottom to top on the left or right side will cause an uppercut with the left or right hand. Pressing on both sides of the screen causes blocking. And tilting the device left or right causes dodging in there respective direction.
With that said. There are no body shots. Only face punching. While I don’t mind. As I like punching faces. Added the strategy and game variety that bodyshots would bring is definately needed as the game gets pretty easy once you get the hang of it.
Graphically, the game looks pretty good. The style is rough and graphitti like. Which is the direction they obviously where going for. The models look good. Textures aren’t bad. the more damage the player/opponent takes the more there eyes will swell up and turn bed. which is a nice touch. but having a little more would have been super. like cuts forming, bruises or swelling in the cheeks and stuff.
Hitting the opponent, while wishing it looked more painful. Is noticable and you won’t be like “I think I hit h.. Or did he block that?”. You can easily tell the difference. Which is good. The slow motion knock outs are pretty cool. Unless you uppercut. Because that really doesn’t look realistic. There are some collision detection glitches. But there forgivable.
Sound isn’t “horrible”. But they really could have been better and more consistant. While punching sounds ok. The slow mo knock out sounds are crackily and annoying sometimes. More sounds would have been nice as it feels like more should be going on. Not much crowd noise once the fight starts. No corners yelling. None of that.
No. Back to the actually gameplay. The game starts off great. Each fight will gain you money and popularity. With money you can buy new equipment. Which both looks “cooler” and also increases your stats. The popularity, once reaching %100 will put you into a tougher opponent bracket. This system works well at the start. Along side new swag. You’ll be able to train before each fight to increase either your stamina, power, agility. Each stat, when upgraded feels like it makes a difference. Too many games tack on “stats” and upgrades without any real discernable difference. Training consists of simply picking what you want to add 5 points to what stat. Having a little mini game would have
Once you reach 105 percent (including the max items) it feels almost unfair that all the later opponents will have upwards of 190 percent to some of there stats. The thing though. Once you figure out the all mighty pattern to basically every fight. There stats could be 600 percent +12 to Frostshock and it wouldn’t matter.
That’s the biggest problem with the game. Once you reach champion, all stats and items. There’s no drive to keep
playing. Sure it’s still a fun distraction once in a while. But that drive is gone. Here is hoping they add some stuff with updates. That would be fantastic.
All in all. I give this title a 8.1
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It’s fun and quick while your building to be the champion. But once you reach that point. It stalls out a bit.
UPDATE: version 1.1 was released, and with it brought the ability to pause the game, skip knock-out replays. Fixed iPod playlist importing and improved the way a knockout looks (face rippling and such.) my final score as been updated from a 7.9, to a 8.1 to reflect these improvements.