To be honest, I’d never even heard of Unstoppable Fist until a friend of mine sent me a link to the trailer. Luckily for me, the very reason he stumbled onto it — that the game went free-to-play today — led me to download it five minutes later. It was a pleasant surprise, to say the least.
In nearly all senses, Unstoppable Fist carries the same charm that the most enduringly endearing games of yesteryear still provide. The presentation makes that face-slappingly clear within seconds: It’s blocky, pixelated and irreverant. You’re told to “Destroy the Mionions of Darkness with quick reflexes and a mullet,” and off you go — no questions asked. Back in my youth, games like Double Dragon and even the original Zelda leaned on the same austere, imagination-stoking approach. That was partly out of necessity, of course, but also because it let the gameplay come first and put most of the story in the mind of the player — which, frankly, works a whole lot better for a game with such an absurd premise. Unstoppable Fist is the kind of game that reminds of why those games still resonate.
So for gamers of that era, it’s not surprising that Unstoppable Fist is ultimately about nothing but high scores. Your bemulleted hero stands in the center of the screen, beefy as can be, while fish and rodents zoom in from the sides. Your only goal is to tap one of six areas on the edge of the screen, which makes your hunkster lash out with an attack. If you’re too late, you’ll take damage and eventually die. Developer Ragtag Studios did well to focus on tapping areas rather than enemies, as it minimizes the extent to which your thumbs will obscure the screen. But clever as it may be, Unstoppable Fist remains (unsurprisingly) an inferior experience for anyone without transparent appendages.
Oh, and grab that rockin’ chiptunes soundtrack. I’ll be air-guitaring my way home with that thing rolling through my head.
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