Noodlecake Studios has been at this Android thing for quite some time, releasing such hits as Super Stickman Golf and Zombie Road Trip into the Play Store. Their most recent title, Punch Quest, doesn’t just jump onto the endless runner bandwagon, it smashes it into a million pieces. Developed by Rocketcat Games and Madgarden, Punch Quest is an all out, balls out action runner with an old-school beat ’em up twist: your character essentially has to punch to move. Stop punching, and you die. Simple as that.
Once downloaded, you’ll find Punch Quest a surprisingly deep runner, packed with special power ups, supermoves, and even a mountable laser spitting dinosaur. If that’s not enough to tickle your fancy, I don’t know what will. Your character is equipped with 2 offensive moves: forward punch, and uppercut/slam. Press the right side of the screen to dash punch, alternating between left and right hands to keep moving forward. The left button will perform an uppercut, not only hitting enemies flying above you, but it’s also how your character will jump onto higher platforms, and branching level paths.
Attacks can also vary with punches stunning an enemy for a split second, while pressing uppercut twice will result in a slam move that sends flying enemies into others (perfect for high-scoring combos). The better you perform in a level, the more punchos (coins) you can earn, useful for upgrading your character’s skills, outfitting him with new gear, equipping better super moves, or simply buying 1-time use items. Yes, there are in-app purchases, but that’s simply an option provided to those that don’t want to work at upgrading their character. I found they were completely unobtrusive and there were no annoying pop-ups asking you to buy more punchos.
Graphically, the game looks great. Yes, this looks like something you’d play on some sticky Neo Geo arcade cabinet, but it only adds to the charm. The main character (either male of she-male) is well animated, and can be customized down the color of hair/skin, variety hats, and equipable armor. Enemies look great too. They’re nice and varied, with different dungeons featuring a different assortment of enemies and obstacles. Reach the end of a dungeon, and you’ll be greeted with an epic boss fight. One of the best parts about Punch Quest is its one of the few games in the Play Store that allow you to play in your favorite orientation, either portrait or landscape (major props).
Honestly, there’s so much old-school gaming love here, it’s hard not to feel nostalgic about Punch Quest. With a main character that looks like something out of Fist of the North Star (I’m sure that was completely intentional), this game — in some weird way — brings back memories of my awkward adolescence flooding into my mind. This was literally the best dollar I’ve spent in the Play Store in quite some time. You can download Punch Quest right now in the Play Store for 99 cents via the link below.