FaceFighter is a fairly simple, comically violent fighting game with a goofy twist: you create your own opponents, using pictures from your iPhone camera or photo albums--so that means you can bruise and brawl with just about anyone, whether your boss, your best friend, or a celebrity from a magazine. FaceFighter's foe-creation interface is intuitive and easy: you start with a pic, scale and rotate to line up the eyes and mouth, and then scale and rotate again to determine the face's borders. FaceFighter comes with two built-in enemies (Big Ben and Enemy Mime), but you'll quickly fill its combat roster with your preferred sparring partners.
FaceFighter's gameplay is surprisingly good for what might otherwise seem like a throwaway game. You press touch-screen buttons for Swift Attacks, Furious Attacks (heavier and slower), kicks, and blocks, all of which reward careful timing. You can double-tap or tap them together for combos, and with enough successful blows the Legendary Fury meter fills up, letting you unleash a satisfying weapon attack. The slapstick charm of FaceFighter, of course--it's raison d'etre, really--is in the fighting itself. As you land blows on your personalized opponent, they react appropriately with cartoon-augmented expressions (like grim frowns or bugged-out eyes), eventually showing the wages of battle through everything from black eyes to bandages to missing teeth.
FaceFighter might lack complexity (for example, there's currently no online component, not even a leaderboard) and its touch-screen buttons can be frustrating sometimes in the heat of combat, but it packs a lot of fun into a compact, clever package. FaceFighter is definitely one of those signature apps that's perfect for showing off your iPhone to friends and family. (OK, maybe not your family.)