Puppet Punch brings arcade action to center stage, literally
Puppet Punch is a new game for iPhone and iPad. Originally only in the Canada, Brazil and Austria App Stores, the title is now available in the United States. The game has a clear bias against puppets. Gameplay is similar to a whack-a-mole concept, just tapping to punch the puppets. There are various power-ups that come your way as well, plus coin bags to collect for missions and level up. Take out all your stress on some harmless puppets: Puppet Punch is free with in-app purchases for iOS.
Don’t be mistaken, Puppet Punch is far more than the aforementioned whack-a-mole comparison. It’s just the core playing that’s similar. Outside of that, the game feels like much of what you’d expect from games in its genre in the App Store. Naturally, there’s a path to follow when leveling up, plus the app has loads of in-app purchase opportunities.
The story revolves the character Pablo, whom you play in the game. Pablo enters an arcade and finds a hidden room with a game called Puppet Punch where he slips on boxing gloves and climbs a ladder to get punching. The various objects require different levels of force. Standard puppets need three punches to defeat while coin bags need one punch to collect. Puppet Punch also has bosses which require numerous punches to defeat. If you’re affected in any way, you lose one “heart” or life. Lose all of them and sayonara.
The puppets are just as angry at you as you are at them for some reason, since they all carry weapons of some sort. If you don’t defeat them quickly enough, they unleash their weapons, which need a separate punch of their own to get rid of. To aid are a variety of power-ups like a slingshot, gun, fireballs and more.
It’s worth mentioning that Puppet Punch is an indie game, and for an indie game it’s truly impressive. It’s well-developed with excellent graphics and negligible bugs or hiccups. Playing the game is genuinely entertaining too. It definitely keeps you on your feet and if you miss a beat, you risk the chance of losing.
What I’m not a huge fan of is all the in-app purchases and unnecessary complexities. While the game is free, the coins and mechs you earn go toward skipping obstacles, playing on after losing and “aura” shields for Pablo. Plenty of other games use this method for monetization, but in a simple punching game it feels off. I’d gladly pay US$0.99 or even $1.99 for the game in its entirely straight from the App Store to ditch all the bells and whistles that come with the now standard freemium model.