Top Critic Average
In the end, Punch Club looked like a fun, light-hearted sim game that ended up being a way better game than anticipated. It could do with a bit more in the way of interactivity, but it does present itself as a fighting simulator and not a straight forward fighting game. It delivers a lot more than it advertises, so these gripes are only so big.
Punch Club is a game with a lot of personality. From its realistic gameplay to the little surprises it has tucked away, there's something special about it that will have you hooked. In spite of the moments that feel like a lot of grinding, it's an enjoyable title.
I had fun with Punch Club as I unraveled its story between training sessions and my work day. It's definitely worth a play, even if you can't directly control fights. If you want to be the best, you have to work hard, and this game certainly shows you that, one fight at a time.
Overall, Punch Club may not be the fighting experience we were expecting, but what’s missed on the fighting side is more than made up for by the exceptionally well worked management aspects of the game.
I had a lot of fun with this game and put many more hours into it then I would have expected. I got really into building my character’s stats up and tried to reach the top rankings in all the leagues. Those looking for a great fighting game should look elsewhere, but I’d urge you to give this one a chance. It just might suck you in!
Stylistically, Punch Club is a delightful tribute to '80s pop-culture and underdog sports dramas. At its best it's as exciting as watching a real sporting event and rises, believe it or not, to the level of interactive poetry about the struggles and temptations of everyday life. At its worst, it's a slog and a chore with little to keep you going but abstract icons indicating progress amid frustrating setbacks.
Punch Club is yet another example of how small teams that focus on gameplay that's engaging can offer interesting long-term experiences even if they do not feature impressive graphics or stories.
80s vibe and many movie references will keep you playing this game, but the large amount of grind and repetitive campaign will start to bore you sooner than you hoped for.
Review in Slovak | Read full review
All told, Punch Club was a surprisingly deep and well-constructed simulation that kept me on my toes trying to manage the life of my unfortunate protagonist, Phteven (that's "Steven, with a 'ph'). While it wasn't at all what I expected, I found myself enjoying it more than I probably would have, had it been the brawler I anticipated.
What is it about routine that is so comforting? Punch Club somehow manages to not only make this endless cycle of grinding fun and immensely rewarding, while still keeping a few surprises very close to the vest. Even though micromanagement style games have been a staple on PC for as long as the platform has existed, something about this game feels like it would be more at home on mobile, where the repetitiveness can be indulged in more approachable, bite-sized doses.
Under a beautiful art, Punch Club it's a life simulator under a sport management sim appearance. You have to manage your time to train, work, buy food, work on your relations, rest... and fight. It's a shame that combats are automatic: if they were playable, probably the game would have been more fun to play.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
Part Persona, part The Sims, and part Fight Club, Punch Club is deceptively deep, with a rewarding life simulation and RPG systems. It's bursting with personality, (though regrettably very little of that is its own) reliant on bygone eras and pop-culture references to establish its lighthearted and fun tone. Punch Club is tedious at times, thanks to an unfortunate level-down systems that artificially extend the road to the championship with grinding repetition, but its upgrades, stat growth, and more compensate with satisfying depth.
Punch Club has a fantastic soundtrack, great 16-bit art, and a good amount of content going for it. We can't help but state, however, that this game quickly evolves into a grind, and thus we only recommend it to committed fans of this genre. You'll spend a good amount of time tediously raising your fighting stats and tending to individual meters instead of feeling like you're making choices for your player's life. This isn't too bad in short bursts, but it makes the game feel more like a chore than fun at times, and the lack of Easy mode means stat gains are never permanent. The fights themselves are also rather dull and slow, especially early on.There's something glimmering in Punch Club, and it's a shame that it's not more fun for general audiences. Hardcore management fans should have a great time here, but we'd caution casual players to stay away unless they enjoy the tedium of everyday life.
Punch Club provides a parody-filled look at one man ‒ your man ‒ and his rise to martial arts stardom. Managing his hunger, training regiment, and social life contains all the appeal of The Sims franchise, but punishing stat decay and RNG-heavy fights cripple Punch Club's lasting shot at fame.
Punch Club is an effective casual management sim with a well-observed 16-bit aesthetic, but its grindy hands-off mechanics soon start to grate. Here on Nintendo's flagship console, it just feels a little too remote and repetitive to be in with a genuine title shout.
Punch Club features an interesting mix of management, social simulation and some JRPG elements in a game that features an interesting gameplay and whose 16-bit resemblances include several 90s pop culture references. It doesn't fully materialize its promises, as it quickly starts feeling repetitive and at one point, it doesn't quite feel interactive enough to be an outstanding experience.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
I didn't enjoy 'Punch Club' as much as I wanted to, mostly due to mechanical gripes that bugged me throughout my entire playthrough. Despite these issues, it's a charming little game that the developers have only improved with the addition of free content. While it makes a few missteps in some critical areas, for fans of life sims or boxing movies, this is definitely worth checking out.
Overall, I think Punch Club is a neat experiment of a game, but it needs a little more story and gameplay variety and a little less repetition. The first rule of Punch Club is obvious (right?), but the second rule is put on some headphones and your favourite podcast. You're in for the grind of your life.
While Punch Club isn't a bad experience by any means there's no way to get around its limitations. If you enjoy its somewhat relaxed "play it on the cough while you watch TV" style and haven't already indulged in it by all means give it a look. If you've dabbled before or are looking for something action-oriented it likely won't be worth considering though.
Although the concept of the game is pretty cool, Punch Club doesn't really provide a lot of entertainment. It does, however, inspire you to head to the gym and lift some real-life weights or perhaps run on a treadmill for an hour or so.
Unfortunatly, Punch Club just does not live up to its promise or its looks. The time management aspect takes over in a frustrating manner, which combined with hands-off fights creates a mundane game.