June 30, 2013 11:10 PM | Anthony Swinnich
Let's be honest here: Silver Dollar Games is a developer with a wildly diverse catalog. They've made a name for themselves on XBLIG by releasing game after game at a breakneck pace, seeming to use every idea from every brainstorming session the team may have had. With that in mind, I was skeptical about One Finger Death Punch before I started playing. Despite it winning Microsoft's Dream.Build.Play competition in 2012, I was still worried this one would be more like No Luca No than something of quality. Those worries melted away quickly once I got into the combat, though. Silver Dollar has put together a thoroughly enjoyable and unique little game here.
You only use two buttons in One Finger Death Punch: X and B. They allow you to attack left and right, respectively. Enemies come from either direction and need to be attacked once they're in range. Timing is everything. Attack too early and you'll leave yourself open to attacks; too late and you'll be hit.
There are some clever wrinkles that keep the two-button combat from becoming stale. Some enemies require two hits to dispatch. Others carry weapons that you can commandeer and use to slaughter your foes. Another type of enemy may switch sides on you, requiring you to use both buttons to dispatch them, while others bring up a zoomed-in battle that forces you to press buttons in the proper combination to achieve victory. Medals are awarded based on how accurate your attacks are, which is good because button mashing is a recipe for a quick demise.
The stick figure character models are surprisingly adequate at expressing mortality and the music is appropriately epic, which should help keep things from getting old across the game's 250 levels. It's an admittedly simple concept, but it's a shocking amount of fun as well. You can pick it up on the XBLIG marketplace for 80 Microsoft points ($1) right now. A PC release is in the works. The game is up for voting on Steam Greenlight, and a demo can be obtained here.