Made as a spoof of 1980s action films like Rocky, Punch Club is a downloadable sports management game. It came out for Windows and Mac PCs as well as iOS and Android smartphones back in 2016 to wide acclaim. The port to the Nintendo 3DS was arriving a year later with the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 and even Nintendo Switch versions seeing the light of day too.
Download Punch Club
You can download Punch Club from GOG.com or from Steam. Another download worthy of your attention is the DLC: Punch Club OST and Artbook. The game is not easy, so if you’re stuck by all means look for an online walkthrough or consult the wiki
If you like this title by Lazy Bear Games you should definitely also download and check out the later effort: the cemetery simulator Graveyard Keeper.
Punch Club Review
So what’s the deal here?
Make no mistake about it, sports titles are some of the toughest to develop in all of video games.
From the precision demanded in the Madden franchise to the roster and league support necessary for a solid FIFA game, sports, more than most genres, are beholden to real-world physics and conceits. Probably no other series of titles seeks to simulate the actual mechanics, physics, and feel of being “something” quite like a sports game does.
As you can imagine, with such high bars set for people who enter the field, making a sports game is probably a very daunting task for an indie outfit.
But Lazy Bear Games’ Punch Club is not only an excellent sports game but it is also a masterful management title, providing dual layers of simulation that make for an incredibly deep and complex title.
And best of all is the concept of the game itself: You play as a trainer who is working his protege up towards some serious matches – in addition to solving the mystery of who murdered the boxer’s father.
If you did a double take there you weren’t the only person.
Often sports games involve making some athlete’s career dreams come true. Or at the very least simulate endless matches against rival teams. Occasionally story mode will throw in some flair to make it personal and more real than it might otherwise be but the story is rarely the focus in a sports game.
In Punch Club, that’s a completely different case.
Based upon three main categories, agility, stamina, and strength, Punch Club also has life simulation elements such as the need for the boxing trainee to have a job and to pay for his training. Sporting graphics that wouldn’t be out of place in the 32-bit era, Punch Club shines in its blend of simulation and gameplay elements.
Managing the boxer’s time between earning money and advancing in the league is part of the game. Though side quests are on offer, they are completely options and, like we said, you are often under a time crunch in the game. Depending on the player’s actions, there are several potential endings in Punch Club and the one you receive will largely depend on what you do in the game in terms of managing these various and conflicting needs.
A critical success in its own right, Punch Club enjoys widespread availability and acclaim for its blend of the 1980s aesthetic with modern gaming sensibilities. Providing a thorough challenge from beginning to end, Punch Club is satisfying from both a gameplay and narrative perspective, It is a great rare quality smartphone title that has a great story and has become a classic indie title as on PCs as well.