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Game Review | One Finger Death Punch

Yes, there are lightsabers in One Finger Death Punch

Game summary: An indie beat 'em up video game where players must survive rounds of enemies in the many different stages using the left and right mouse buttons. Players press either the left or right button, corresponding to which side of their character the enemies are currently on. (Wikipedia)

While it is technically possible to play One Finger Death Punch with the titular one finger, it would only really be on the earlier levels where things are slower and you have more time to react. On later levels, or deep into the 'endless' mode, even two fingers won't feel like enough to keep up.

Left and right is all you need here, whether using mouse buttons, arrow keys or a pad, there's nothing more to the gameplay than that. Fitting really, as you don't need any more than that, with anything more complex completely ruining the game's appeal.

First off, there's that title. One Finger Death Punch really does spell out in four words exactly the type of game this is and the tone of the content within. It's a martial arts extravaganza that dials the impact up to eleven and blasts your face off with its intensity on harder stages.

It's a game where stick figures beat each other up with their bare hands, or an array of different weapons that includes a lightsaber. And on that last note, this is also the most gratifying and impactful lightsaber fighting in any video game ever - why haven't Disney got in touch to even make a mini-game out of this?

There's not really a great deal more to say about One Finger Death Punch because I've said everything there is to say: you press left or right to attack enemies that come into range, with some taking more than a single hit to go down.

Yes, if you play it for extended periods, it can become repetitive, but this is an ideal 10-15 minute time-waster. And the thing is, it all just feels so good - this isn't a light bit of fluff to pass some time, every single hit feels like it hurts. A hell of an achievement for a stick figure fighting game.

My body count didn't stop in three digits in the game of One Finger Death Punch

I knew last week that I wanted to revisit this game for the site, and tried a couple of levels and struggled. I just couldn't keep up and wondered whether my reflexes were failing, or the game was just a little too unfair on some of the very late levels which I'd stupidly jumped straight to after months of not playing it.

However, to get the images for this review, I started it up again and decided to try a game of the endless mode as I knew it would take time before getting too hectic. I promptly went and shattered my previous best, fingers tapping away at the arrows on my keyboard like a kung fu master.

It might sound ridiculous to say it, but that felt so, so satisfying, and I was more thrilled at that outcome than most games I've played recently. Trust me, once you've played One Finger Death Punch a little, you'll understand exactly where I'm coming from.

Oh, and one last note about the graphics: those screenshots might look a little cluttered, with a lot of information on-screen (and even more cut off thanks to being cropped for this post). But when you're playing, you just don't notice it - or at least I don't. All that I see is my character in the middle of the screen, and the little bar below it telling me when my enemies are close enough to hit. Just fantastic.

One Finger Death Punch is a fun game that can prove extremely addictive once everything clicks and you enter 'the zone'. Ludicrously simple controls mean anyone can pick up and play it, yet you'll need equally ludicrous reflexes to master it - a budget gem.




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