Punch Quest: Free-to-Play Singleplayer Done Right

One of the strongest arguments against the assertion that Free-to-play gaming is the future of the entire industry is the question “How do you design a singleplayer F2P game?” People are already making great strides in cracking that problem, Punch Quest from the makers of Mage Gauntlet being one example.

The answer that mobile game designers seem to have arrived at is “make it like an arcade game.” Punch Quest is probably thus far the greatest example of the “running man” genre that’s taken hold on mobile gaming – a proper evolution after Jetpack Joyride.

If you never played Jetpack, in it you automatically run in a straight line, tapping the screen to jump over obstacles and collect coins, getting more points the farther you make it. The powerups and other items you got along the way helped out and added a lot of variety to the game. The result is a quick, addictive F2P game where the only monetization lies in experience point boosts and cosmetic customization. It’s singleplayer, it’s a good game, and doesn’t feel like a scam.

Punch Quest is all of these but with what feels like much deeper gameplay. It’s Jetpack crossed with Final Fight.

You have one button to punch enemies and another for an uppercut jump. Those two buttons alone combine for an impressive array of combos, many of which you unlock with XP (like Jetpack only XP boosts cost real money). It even feels like they designed the various enemies so that you have to use specific combos to deal with each one. On top of the alternate paths with different rewards, it all makes Punch Quest feel like a real next step for these kinds of games. Heck, it even sounds like Final Fight. They nailed that 16-bit beat-em-up sound design here and for some reason it just completes the experience for me.

The most important reason why I think any iOS gamer should download Punch Quest is because you don’t have to grind or buy a lot of XP in order for it to become fun. The gameplay is such that it’s enjoyable immediately – way before you actually start buying anything. That’s what makes it work.

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One thought on “Punch Quest: Free-to-Play Singleplayer Done Right

  1. The only F2P game I’m playing at the moment is Need for Speed World. You can play most of the events in single player, and that’s what I’m doing to level up. It’s quite fun, try it!

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