Glass Bottom Games’ Spartan Fist is a cute, blocky, first-person procedurally generated puncher where your end goal is to retrieve the fabled Spartan Fist after fighting your way through the four main arenas.
Each arena has plenty of enemies for you to punch the living daylights out of, as well as traps spread around but everything just feels very samey and repetitive. The arenas are designed differently to try and keep things a little more original as you progress through the game, but with it being such a short - and generally monotonous - playthrough, we quickly grew weary.
From the very beginning, the gameplay felt off. Something about the controls felt excessively cumbersome, with the lock-on system being extremely awkward and causing a lot of issues whilst playing. Not having the lock-on system active is equally as frustrating however, as it results in you struggling to actually get a punch in so not ideal.
The art style, with its voxel based look and large splashes of blocky blood spatter when fighting is something that does work well here. There's a lot of room for improvement with adding more variety to the overall environments, but the inherent design choice is gorgeous. That along with the sound design, with a "Chipunk" soundtrack throughout, are the two things that really stand out about this game.
You can upgrade your fists as you go, gaining permanent upgrades that will help you on successive runs. Most of the achievements available in Spartan Fist are for you to try out other types of fists. You have Bandage Fists, Rat Fists, Bear Fists and more, and these can be equipped individually to each fist, giving a slight bit of variety to how to choose to play and figuring out what works best for you. You can spend in-game currency on useful items such as skips, to allow you to jump back into the action after you die - saving you from slogging through everything from the start again.
I really wanted to like Spartan Fist, and can see that there was a lot of potential here. Sadly there's just too many things I had issues with, from the lock-on frequently spinning me out of control, sometimes strange hit boxes for enemies, as well as me occasionally dropping through floors or clipping into walls and through enemies. Priced at £12.49 on the Xbox Store, you'd expect better.
In the end, we decided to give Spartan Fist the Collecting Asylum rating of 4/10.
Have you played Spartan Fist yet? What did you think of it?
Let us know in the comments below!
- V x
Thank you to JanduSoft for the Spartan Fist Xbox One review code!