Young readers may not know the joys and pain of getting so blindingly drunk that the world turns into a blur, and you become a monster. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde have little on most people when they’ve had a skinful of ale, and my latest review title aims to show this experience. Drunken Fist by developers DEKLAZON and Eastasiasoft Limited, and published by the latter, is a 3D drunken-physics, beat ’em up, action game. The aim of this title is to make it home, fighting everyone while attempting to stay firmly on your feet.
The gameplay spans 7 small stages where you must overcome an increasing number of enemies, all while searching for food and drink to consume. You control a stumbling mess of a man who; slides, flaps and trips down the road. Each level starts with a set of objectives clearly shown in the top right corner of the screen. You must destroy a set amount of; punks, hipsters, jocks, and more on your way to achieving victory and making it to the sanctuary of your front door.
The unnamed drunken hero has limited statistics that you must observe, but the few that he has makes him a needy, annoying, buffoon. Like most drunk people, he has a bladder the size of a pea, and constantly needs to relieve himself where he stands. This urine magically pools on the floor and is slipperier than an eel. If used correctly, it creates an amusing banana skin effect that floors any opponent. Alongside the desire to urinate, he must devour burgers he finds on the floor to fill his health bar, and top up his alcohol level with the bottles of wine found strewn around the bins, and on the ground. This guy has no standards! Eating from the floor and drinking wine found in a bin is even below my level of acceptance, yet this guy loves to fill his body with discarded waste.
Drunken Fist is an amusing insight into how people behave when inebriated. The fighting isn’t complicated, and is usually over in a couple of hits, but when you miss, and it goes wrong, the outcome is hilarious. The lead character falls at the slightest of nudges, so when you attempt and miss with a mighty Haymaker, the inevitable tumble into the gutter shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. This drunken-physics element forms the backbone for all the action. Walk or run too fast, you’ll fall. Step off the curb too quickly, yep you’re on your behind again. Step on your pee, and you better believe that’s a one-way ticket to floorsville, population, you! You spend most of your time; laughing, fighting, and getting up off the ground.
The floppy and uneasy nature of the hero makes moving and completing most tasks frustrating, it’s like trying to put clothes on a toddler who’s having a tantrum. I was glad that the gameplay difficulty was low. The lack of a challenge wasn’t a problem for me, it allowed me the freedom to act like an A-hole, and not worry about the consequences.
Graphically, it personifies the indie title look, as it has a simple artistry with an interesting yet basic landscape. The physics style and look reminded me of Human Fall Flat, but was not as polished. A dark colour palette and tone, enhance the twilight atmosphere, and the blurred imagery represents a drunk person’s outlook on life perfectly.
The audio reminded me of the classic side-scrolling beat ’em ups such as Streets of Rage. Synthesised music, and over the top sound effects accompanies all the action. It felt like a badly dubbed Chinese martial arts film. It was outrageous, but I loved it.
For a drunk who can barely stand up, he has a lot of different moves that he can perform. He can; kick, throw punches, complete combos, and more. There is a lot to master, yet it’s easy to pick up and learn. The developers have been too generous with the special attack ability. The bar fills too quickly, and landing this attack knocks out your foes instantly, making you the most powerful drunk to ever exist. Apart from this needing a minor tweak, the gameplay is well balanced, and the controls are responsive enough.
The simplicity of this title and the lack of difficulty impacts the replay value. All achievements are unlocked within 1 hour of playing, and once you’ve finished the 7th level there isn’t much else to do. You are free to replay the game as much as you wish, punching as many people as you see fit. I think the developers missed a trick when they; failed to mix up the objectives, didn’t implement an NG+ mode, or mix neutral NPCs into the action. Any of these things would have added a new layer to the gameplay, and would have increased the desire to want to return.
Physics-based games aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. They are harder to master, and you always have to consider your actions. This adds a frustrating element to the gameplay, but it is also rewarding when you achieve perfection. Though Drunken Fist has its shortcomings, it’s an enjoyable title to play, even if it is only for a short amount of time. Do I recommend it? Yes. I laughed throughout and thoroughly enjoyed how DEKLAZON captured the drunken nature of the lead character. Can you fight off the people that stand in your way and make it home? 7 levels, lots of burgers, alcohol and fighting stand between you and success.