When a problem comes along you must punch it. When that problem is an alternate reality where bears rule the world, your punching ability better be at an all time high. Luckily, that’s the case in the new game Fist of Awesome, which pits you as Tim Burr, whose hand has become self-aware. You need to help Tim, his hand, and the world to reset the timeline to counteract a world overrun by bears spread across time and space. To do so, you will need to fight your way through animals, and the gameplay is based on arcade classic fighting games for retro stylized beat ‘em up action.
The heart of the game is punching, and kicking deer, bears, and more wild animals that are now put in different situations. You will end up battling across multiple time periods from a futuristic human zoo, to prehistoric times. All of the action is controlled by simply touch actions as you tap to punch, swipe to kick, and tap and hold for a fist of awesome punch. The combat is presented with a personality packed 8-bit visual style which is highly polished. The feature set is relatively predictable with a lot of play time available whether it’s the story mode, or the countdown based arena mode. You also get to level up your character, and the different environments and time periods keep you playing.
At the most basic level, it’s just simple arcade fun as you battle four or five enemies at once. It’s effortless to control the on screen action, but since the controls are so simple, it can be a bit repetitive. It’s a new age button masher where you still tap excessively, but now it’s anywhere on the screen, rather than a specific button. Sometimes, you use alternate moves just for a change of pace. The enemies increase in difficulty, but it’s still the same base strategy of trying to dodge their special attacks, get in a few basic attacks, and then line up a few enemies for your special attack. One surprising aspect is how slow, and methodical each fight plays out so that you can essentially look away from the screen while continuing to tap, and still beat some enemies. The factors don’t make for a bad game, and just downgrade what could be. The game that is there is well made for some classic combat action, with an eccentric theme.
Fist of Awesome ($3.99, Universal) is worth picking up depending upon your affinity for classic arcade brawlers, and bears.