‘One Finger Death Punch’ Review

“Haste makes waste,” so the saying goes. I’ve never believed in that. Haste makes Ludum Dare games. Haste makes your ‘Magic: The Gathering’ creatures much better.  Haste is what makes games like ‘One Finger Death Punch’.

Let me explain. You know that pervading sense of rush you get when you watch a well-made kung-fu movie? When Jackie Chan or Jet Li knock a guy through a table? Those well-paced and impeccably-timed scenes are pivotal to getting your heart pumping and adrenaline going.

Now, imagine you wanted the experience of a kung-fu fight scene condensed into its purest form and offered to you in an inexpensive package. Well, have I got a deal for you: You can have all this and more with Silver Dollar Games’ ‘One Finger Death Punch’. AND ALL FOR ONLY $1.99! (plus $0 shipping and handling).

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyqolKBwHQk]

Beyond that bad text-based infomercial for ‘One Finger Death Punch’ (which would make for some stellar television), I have given you everything you need to know about ‘One Finger Death Punch’. Other than the controls,  (X and B on your Xbox or left mouse and right mouse on your PC). Each of those buttons correlate to a direction. Either you attack left or attack right. For example, in case I lost you, left mouse button and X, which are both the leftmost button of the two buttons on the input device attack left. With me? Right buttons attack right. Right and left. Got it?

The rest of the design is more complex. Enemies vary in strength and in design. Some enemies will dodge your initial attacks, meaning you’ll need to hit them in multiple directions to get the kill, while others require two or three direct hits in one direction. Still others will throw weapons in your direction which you will need to either catch or knock out of the air with a sweet kick or punch. Finally, fighting mini-bosses called “brawlers” triggers a mini game in which you’ll need to execute a series of button presses or else the brawler will brawl you in the brawls. Bosses are combated similarly, but much more involved and lengthy fighting.

One Finger Death

Stage types are another source of excitement, due to their variety and style. There are at least five different level types in the story mode, including mob rounds, which are most common, time trials, boss rounds, light sword rounds, survival rounds, thunderstorm rounds, and nunchuk rounds. Okay, that’s seven different types and there might be more, but I ain’t some counting scientist or nothing. The round variety is incredible, and I found myself salivating for light sword and boss rounds in particular. I would consider both of these highlight rounds of the game, with survival rounds being a considerable low-point as they are no pressure and no reward type rounds. You just fight until you die and move on, which seems unnecessary considering there is an available survival round option as one of two game types. The rest of the levels were tantalizing though and I never really hit a point where I tired of any round type.

The only complaint I have is the map. It’s a mess. A free floating camera view of the map would be welcome, because having to click each level icon to just look at different sections is terribly inconvenient.

There are plenty of other features, but I do not feel like boring you will tell you how much I enjoyed this game. I’ve spent more time enjoying this than I have with plenty of other games released this year. That is high praise for an idea that is so simple. 

Final Opinion: ‘One Finger Death Punch’ is a rare mix of arcade excitement with a mini-game feel. The experience condenses a movie trope, in melodramatic kung-fu scenes, and gives you control over all of the excitement with nary a learning curve. The result is one of the more simple but enjoyable experiences to be found in a game this year. It’s a must for kung-fu movie lovers and fighting game fans, but also appeals to the modern sensibility of gamers in general. I highly recommend it. 

You can grab ‘One Finger Death Punch’ on Desura for $1.99 and on Xbox Live for $1.00. For more on ‘One Finger Death Punch’ check out Silver Dollar Games official website and @sdgames on Twitter.

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