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While there are plenty of Canabalt and Jetpack Joyride copycats on the App Store, Punch Quest is part of a rarer breed. Managing to bring a new twist to the auto-runner genre, Rocketcat Games has created an addicting title that blends old-school adventuring with the age-old thrill of punching things in the face. Some nagging control issues aside, Punch Quest may be your next go-to iOS game.
Punch Quest uses the premise of Jetpack Joyride as its launching point. The jetpack is essentially replaced with your hero's melee skills, with punches moving the character through a never-ending dungeon. Other familiar elements like unlockable upgrades and super powers keep the game fresh, despite each round only lasting less than a couple minutes.
But for every feature that feels a bit too stock -- and there are many -- Punch Quest offers some fresh ideas. Blending in the monster-slaughter of an 8-bit era Castlevania adventure, the ability to smack an endless torrent of orcs, skeletons, and exploding zombies really satisfies. Boss fights are a bit of an annoying distraction, but as soon as you bust open an egg and ride a laser-spitting dinosaur -- well, it's amazing.
Punch Quest delights in its absurdity. One food pick-up causes your hero to hallucinate, and every now and then, you may turn into a bee-killing gnome. Yes, it's wonderfully weird, and unlocking new paths of strange enemies keeps Punch Quest enjoyable as you battle your way up the leaderboard. Unfortunately, the two-button touch controls can be an issue. Too often, Punch Quest reads an uppercut (also effectively the jump button) as a run-stopping block; a huge bummer in a game so focused on stringing together combos.
The bottom line. Despite the sometimes-frustrating control setup, Punch Quest will keep you coming back time and again to sink a fist in just one more orc head.
iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 4.3 or later
Fun take on the auto-runner genre. Addictive monster-face busting. Crazy power-ups.
Controls are occasionally frustrating. Boss fights feel out of place.