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.
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
While Punch Club has a great hook, it has a real tendency to make you cross.
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.
Put it all together, and the easy and fun game you started to play soon becomes a pretty stressful rock-paper-scissors cycle that really demands your attention.
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.
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.
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.