Head Boxing – A satisfyingly violent but flawed fighting game

Mar 20, 2018
Action

Head Boxing by D&D Dream is a cartoon fighting title featuring bulb-headed bruisers from around the globe. It provides some visceral fun, and has plenty of variety and unlockables, but it’s not much of a challenge; only the game’s Death Mode forces the user to play with any kind of strategy.

Button bashing usually doesn’t get you far in fighting games. Most require you to at least be able to perform a few skilful moves to make significant progress. However, in Head Boxing (Death mode aside) the user isn’t forced to fight with finesse, and victories can be achieved – even against rivals of a higher level – through mostly hammering the basic attack button. Use of the more complex moves will likely occur through the player seeking a personal challenge rather than out of necessity. The title’s generally low difficulty is not likely to hold the interest of seasoned Street Fighter or Tekken brawlers for long. It seems that Head Boxing is skewed at a newbie or youngster audience, and it succeeds as a fun introduction to the genre due to its viscerally satisfying violence. In addition to the punches impacting in a pleasing way, there are some gross-out bone breaking animations and facial damage for the characters, plus it’s fun to see how long an opponent can be kept up in the air with punches. Kids especially love that kind of cruelty.

After slogging it out in Arcade mode for a while to hit level 3, the game’s other modes unlock, and they add a good amount of variety. In addition to the Championship, League, and Survival modes there’s Death mode, which takes place in a volcano dungeon straight out of an ‘80s heavy metal album cover. The increased difficulty of this mode is where experienced players may find the game more engaging. During each stage, the user must face off with a series of skeleton characters before fighting a boss version of one of the main roster. In addition to the stamina requirement of the mode, as the stages progress, there are victory conditions imposed on the user, such as having to use a specific move to finish the fight or to complete the entire battle before the time runs out. Death Mode is the best part of the game as it requires the user to play a little more strategically. There’s also a shared-screen 2 player mode that seems more suited to larger devices, and it’s probably best played on a table to avoid a drop causing a knockout blow to your precious tech.

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It’s fun to see how long an opponent can be kept up in the air with punches. Kids especially love that kind of cruelty.

Through gameplay the player is awarded coins which can be used to upgrade the stats of playable characters and purchase costume items which also provide specific stat boosts. Arguably, this system doesn’t do the game any favours in terms of the already low difficulty as it makes the player even more overpowered. But from a cosmetic level, the costumes are fun: who wouldn’t want to wear a dragon onesie and a pirate hat, for example? It may not look all that fearsome, but you could also throw in some boxing gloves that look like cannons to look a little more badass. Coins can also be used to purchase pets that, when equipped, auto-charge the user’s power gauge. These little chicks do need feeding occasionally, but don’t worry, the game doesn’t have a Tamagotchi-style element to it; you won’t get nagged constantly to clean up their crap or entertain them. These features, along with the achievements and leaderboards, give the game a good amount of depth.

Unfortunately, at the time of this review, the game has issues with stability. During gameplay, it has crashed several times, resulting in lost progress. Hopefully this will be addressed in a future patch.

Head Boxing will provide some giddy fun as you break the bones of its cute little bubble heads, and it has depth and variety that will hook newcomers to the genre. But if you’re after a serious challenge, it won’t be long before it’s all out of punches.

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Our Rating

ProsCons
Good for genre newbies. Death mode is challenging. Fun violence. Plenty of modes and unlockables. Achievements and leaderboards.Not much to challenge genre veterans. Stability issues. Multiplayer could be awkward on small devices.
Rating
6/10
Head Boxing
Head Boxing
Developer:
Price: Free+
Head Boxing ( D&D Dream )
Head Boxing ( D&D Dream )
Developer: D&D Dream
Price: Free+
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