How many times have you walked into your local barn or zoo and wondered, "Hey, I wonder how many times I could punch that penguin/chicken/moose in the face before he would go down?" If you're anything like us, the answer to that question is literally tens of times. Developer Gammick Studios and publisher Destineer is looking to help you with your penguin-punching jones with the upcoming Animal Boxing, which we had a chance to try out during a visit from Destineer producers earlier this week.
If you haven't guessed by the title, Animal Boxing is about boxing animals. More than 50 animals are available in the game, each of which you can beat within an inch of their furry lives. Well, OK, that's probably overstating things a bit--the game definitely bends toward a younger crowd and as a result presents a pretty comical version of the sweet science. Still, there's more than a bit of strategy you'll need to get the best of your opponent in the ring.
Of course, in Animal Boxing, it's how you slug it out against your foe that is unique. First of all, you hold the DS completely upside down, so that the touch screen serves as the upper screen. As a result, your opponent appears on the touch screen and you use the stylus to smack him in the face with a combination of jabs, hooks, and uppercuts by simply tapping or swiping the stylus on the screen. To bob and weave left and right, you press the A or Y button respectively, and to block you press the X button. If you're a lefty, you can choose to flip the controls so that the directional pad has the same functionality as the face buttons.
While sticking and moving is a fairly effective strategy in Animal Boxing, you can also deliver harder shots by tapping on special spots on your opponent, illuminated by a cursor. If you tap the right spot and hold the stylus for a moment, you can deliver a stronger punch. Periodically pickups will appear onscreen, which you can also collect by tapping them. Towels will restore a bit of health to your boxer, while red peppers will send you into a temporary state of rage where each subsequent punch you land is more powerful than the previous. Different animals have different attributes, so a (choose one: ape/kitty/walrus) might require a slightly different in-ring approach than a (choose one: tiger/alligator/hippo).
Game modes in Animal Boxing are straightforward as can be--there's a career mode of sorts where you create a human boxer and then take on all comers in the hopes of getting a title shot (Belt holder: A cocky-looking chicken. Get it? We said "cocky." And he's a chicken. See what we did there?). The game will also have a quick match option where you can fight any of the animals you've unlocked so far. Finally, there will be wireless multiplayer, where two people can go head-to-head with their created human boxers (sorry, folks, you can't play as an animal).
Let's face it, there's been more than one animal that's crossed your path over the years that needed its teeth knocked down its throat. Like that reindeer that pushed you around in middle school. Or that parakeet that stole your wife and moved to Aruba. Or that mule who took your spot on the varsity basketball team. We've all been there, and once Animal Boxing hits store shelves on October 28, we'll all be able to extract our revenge.