Queue up "Eye of the Tiger" and get your head in the game; Gamevil's Punch Hero is a fast-paced free-to-play arcade boxer for Android. Punch Hero packs quirky graphics, responsive controls, and plenty of customization incentives to train to become the world champ.
Punch Hero is extremely easy to pick up and play: tap the screen to jab, swipe left/right to throw hook punches, or slide diagonally for uppercuts. Make sure to keep a microfiber cloth handy as that screen of yours will get pretty smudged. You can challenge the 20 or so fighters, each more progressively stronger than the last, as well as train your fighter for stat boosts. You can even hit the graveyard to knock out some zombies. No joke. Most players will probably end up playing through the Arcade mode, though playing Zombie mode is also a great way to earn cash for new items.
Gamevil's latest boxer looks like product of a Nintendo Wii Sports boxing fused with cues from an old anime like Hajime no Ippo...never mind making sense of that but just be assured that it's meant as a compliment. Punch Hero's cel-shaded graphics might seem a bit subpar at first glance, with two-dimensional repeats of spectators in the crowd. But the game's graphics are quite appropriate for the overall feel for the game. It performed extremely smooth with barely any slowdown during the bouts, though your mileage may vary depending on your Android device. As your characters take damage, little details like bruises and cuts will start to show up on their faces. The camera quickly pans left, right, and all around and adds a lot of dynamic emphasis as well.
And though most of the game is quite enjoyable (heck, some of the items might even be worth paying for), Punch Hero's one glaring absence we'd have really loved to see is multiplayer. Nothing would please me more than crushing the jaw of a fellow friend with my fist (on the phone, that is) and it's a shame that there's no two-player feature for either ad-hoc or online. Here's hoping for an update or perhaps even a sequel someday.
Users looking for a good fighter on their phones and tablets should definitely take this boxer out for a spin.