REVIEW: Punch Club


REVIEW: Punch Club

  • Gameplay
  • Graphics
  • Sound
  • Control
  • Technical

The life of a fighter can be tough. Constantly balancing training with everyday life can be a challenge, but what if your life also involved taking on mutant ninja reptiles, fighting in underground promotions, and finding out who killed your father? Lazy Bear Games puts you in the shoes of a fighter out for revenge in Punch Club, an addicting mash up of Tycoon, RPG, and pure nostalgia.

At a young age you witness your father being gunned down in the street by a mysterious man with a red eye. Years later you must fight your way to the top and uncover the secret of the red eyed man, and get revenge for your father’s death.

On the surface Punch Club is your typical micro-managing tycoon game, living the life of a fighter and trying to find a balance of training, working, and rest all in a 24-hour day. If you slack off on any of these aspects, you’ll either end up broke, exhausted, starving, or out of shape. You have many different options in terms of the types of fights you decide to take part in, the ways you make money, and how you spend your downtime, if you choose to have any that is. What makes Punch Club so special is the wacky and weird directions the storyline will take depending on the choices you make. The story tree has multiple branches for every scenario, so there are plenty of unique ways to reach the final ending of the game.


These twists and turns in the storyline are inspired by many popular films from the 80’s and 90’s, and will sure bring a smile to any movie buff’s face. Encounter some mutant ninja crocodiles and test your fighting skills in a sewer while delivering pizzas, win the heart of your friend’s sister Adrien, or learn about self destruction and take part in street fights with a shady character who has a striking resemblance to Fight Club‘s Tyler Durden.

More nostalgic movie references are littered throughout the entirety of Punch Club, some being more subtle and hard to notice than others. These little easter eggs range from movie posters for classic fighting films like Rocky and Blood Sport, to movie characters such as Vincent Vega, Jules Winnfield, and Jay & Silent Bob hanging out in the background of locations you visit.


Punch Club features basic point and click controls, guiding your fighter from location to location on the town map. Travelling to each location can be done by bus costing you money, or by foot costing you time. Training is done in the gym or eventually in your garage if you scrape up enough cash to buy the equipment. Each piece of equipment increases your 3 main attributes: strength, agility, and stamina. These attributes will diminish if you don’t train them steadily, so managing your day and making sure you hit the gym is a must.There is a surprisingly in-depth skill tree to assist you growing as a fighter, and help tailor your skillset to which of the 3 attributes you choose to focus on. The fighting itself requires no player controls at all, except for setting your skills before the fight and in between rounds. Once your skills are equipped you just sit back and watch your hours of training get put to work, or your lack of training get you knocked out. The more you fight, the more skill points you will earn, and the wider variety of skills you can have at your disposal. These skills range from different punches and kicks, increase training efficiency, and preventing your attributes from fading too low.


Much like the many cult classic films it references, Punch Club‘s visuals and sound are straight out of the 80’s and 90’s. The pixelated graphical style resembles a polished NES game, and the soundtrack features some extremely catchy 8-bit tracks that any retro gamer would appreciate.

Lazy Bear Games’ Punch Club is an all-around entertaining fighting game that combines the customization of an RPG and the addicting gameplay of a tycoon sim. With its old school film references and hilarious storyline twists, Punch Club is a game you’ll not only want to experience once, but several times in different ways.


Punch Club Steam code was provided by tinyBuild Games

About Josh Gilbert

Josh is the Co-founder and a Senior Writer for Controller Crusade, and loves all things related to video games. He is a retro games collector trying to recapture his childhood one game at a time, and he also has a major dude crush on Nathan Drake. You can contact him via email at or on Twitter @joshgilbert11.

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