Mediocre Reviews for Excellent Games: One Finger Death Punch
Stick figures are a well-known part of the internet. We’ve all doodled them in our books and the internet has a countless number of stickmen animations where a single stickman is able to destroy an army of stick figures. One Finger Death Punch is a tribute to those animations as you are put into the shoes of that single stickman.
Silver Dollar Games is most known for its Xbox Live indie games with immature themes such as Try Not to Fart and Who Did I Date Last Night. Made by two brothers, Silver Dollar Games’ employee count is still two. That is why it was a general surprise by many in the industry when they created One Finger Death Punch, a fast paced fighting game that only requires two buttons. Though the game seems simplistic with a very simple art style, the game does something a lot of action games have difficulty doing: making the player feel extremely strong.
The gameplay for One Finger Death Punch is limiting in the sense that there are only two buttons you will ever need to press. Despite the lack of complex controls like many other fighting games, One Finger Death Punch’s title is quite literal. It takes a single punch to kill an enemy in the game. A wonderful tribute to stick animations where the protagonists are generally able to finish off every enemy with an attack that looks extremely powerful as they punch enemies across the screen. One Finger Death Punch does this extremely well and is able to make the player feel untouchable, as the stickman will mow down enemies in a flash.
The game changes its speed to match the player’s skill level across the various levels in the story mode. Weapons, skills, and fighting styles make the gameplay satisfying as you feel powerful all around getting to the point where you can kill nine enemies just by using a fish or a broom as a weapon. The enemy variety spices up combat as there are brawlers who require you to put in a unique combination of attacks in a 1v1 fight and colored sticks who are able to dodge your attacks. The main focus of the game is the gameplay and Silver Dollar Games has clearly succeeded in that regard despite the lack of complex of controls.
Silver Dollar Games is not known for the most beautiful art styles but the art style for One Finger Death Punch is very fitting. Though the art style could be like Asura’s Wrath, a game with similar gameplay and idea, this game was originally made for the Xbox Live Arcade as a quick entertaining break, not as a $60 Triple-A game. The choice to use stick figures instead of actual cartoon characters like in their other games fits the game as it looks very fluid with the player character being able to move into different poses that would be challenging in any other art style.
The presentation in combat makes it truly feel like a stick animation with occasional attacks freezing time to show the player character knocking an eye towards the screen or kicking the enemy’s head so hard that you can see the neck snap. There is not a lot to say about the music in the game because you rarely have time to focus on it while watching the screen be filled with flying enemies. Despite this, the music still adds to the immersion with the music reminding players of kung-fu movies. These little touches add to you feeling powerful as you destroy buildings just by punching enemies through the walls.
This game may not have the best art style or the best combat system, but it makes you feel like a god as you punch and kick your way through thousands of enemies. Anybody could pick up this game and instantly see how much fun it is when you get perfects and fight your way through survival mode. For only $5, I would say that this game is worth the hours of enjoyment you can have from possibly the most simplistic games of 2014.