Actually yes, there is.
Right now, long time readers might be having a subtle, creeping sense of déjà vu.
Haven’t you read that headline somewhere before? And those first four words?
Players still seem to love 2D fighters, and since the start of 2017 they’ve been finding their way to the virtual shores of ATVG via a question typed into a search engine. Up until now, Gameloft’s Gods of Rome has been the only half-decent offering on Apple TV, and while it’s okay, it’s certainly a very lite take on the fighting genre.
With the arrival of Apple Arcade to Apple TV however, a ship has docked at ATVG’s harbour, carrying dozens and dozens of very welcome new inhabitants, with at least one representative for nearly every gaming genre imaginable.
And one of them really knows how to handle themselves.
Welcome to Punch Planet.
2D fighting games seem to need a fictional backstory to justify their existence, and Punch Planet is no different. Set on the planet K-0, detective Roy finds himself in the “central hub for the evil scum of the Universe,” goes the story on studio Sector-K’s site. Apparently Roy is tangled up in the vines of a galactic conspiracy, but as fans of 2D fighters go, do we really care?
Thankfully, Punch Planet is actually very lite on story, and heavy on gameplay. This is no Gods of Rome, this is the real deal.
Open up the fact sheet in-game to check out the list of available moves, and players will feel a warm glow of recognition, with combo after combo offering itself to be committed to our muscle memory-bank, all the better to beat the shit out of the player on the opposite side of the screen.
At launch, Punch Planet’s roster of fighters is very sparse, offering only six to get to know. Hopefully though, fans of the genre will discover Sector-K have crafted a high-quality contender with Punch Planet, and perhaps success will bring updates and more content.
Punch Planet has been forged by three “longtime competitors in the fighting game community,” says the studio, and even a short amount of time with the title is evidence of that.
With both offence and defence, timing is key, and as with any solid 2D fighter, learned skill will trump button-mashing in Punch Planet.
Sector-K has even infused its fighter with some unique ideas, allowing players to correct errors of judgement by travelling up to one second into the past. This time-travel mechanic fits nicely into the sci-fi setting, and allows players to cancel a hit, forward dash, negate the effects of an incoming attack, or enabling a short recovery state.
I’ve seen the CPU carry out these intriguing mechanics, but so far in my short time with Punch Planet, I’ve barely even dabbled in the list of basic moves, special moves, and enhanced special moves, let alone time-travel.
The visuals are stunning, fleshing out the exacting gameplay with flare; Punch Planet has style to back up its swagger.
Players will require a controller to enter Punch Planet’s enticing arena, and as stated above, I’m hoping many will appreciate the effort that’s gone into this title, enabling Sector-K the resources to bring more content to flesh out this release.
Finally, Apple TV gamers have a real, skill-based 2D fighter to wrap their fingers around, and Apple Arcade continues to prove itself worth every penny with every new game ATVG downloads and fires up. Check out ATVG’s roundup of the first four games played on the night Apple Arcade came to Apple TV to shake things up.
If you’re new to The Apple TV Gaming Blog (ATVG), or just new to Apple TV gaming in general, or both, then the best place to get acquainted is our Best Apple TV Games of 2019 article. You’ll find a great collection of games to play, and a bunch of useful links to our previous site content. Welcome aboard. Enjoy the ride.