If boxing is your thing, gaming has got you covered. Between Fight Night on PS3/360 and the recently reborn Punch-Out for the Wii, boxing games have seen a resurgence in 2009. As high-tech as many of these titles are, none of them allow for true interaction between player and opponent, which is exactly what Touch K.O. aims to do. This new iPhone/iPod Touch title from Chillingo and Blurt features touch-sensitive controls that brings a new meaning to the phrase “reach out and touch someone.”
Touch K.O. offers both Quick Play and Career modes, with Career featuring ten different character types and a number of customization options. You can outfit your guy with nine types of tattoos, or even pick if they are right or left-handed. You can’t change the color of their eyes or give them bigger feet, but it is a sturdy customization system with a fair amount of options for you to play around with. The fighting style option is especially interesting, as you can switch up your boxer’s move set for some variety. New options will unlock as you play, keeping you fighting for the style!
The controls of Touch K.O. were not quite what I was expecting. While they work fine, the camera is aimed sideways instead of facing your boxer head-on. While this looks more dramatic and exciting, it does make fighting a bit trickier. You don’t really have to rely on proper timing and defense so much, as you can easily get through a round by wailing away at your opponent. The game is entirely touch sensitive, and allows you to perform moves depending on how you move your fingers.
Moving your finger forward throws a regular punch, while flicking upward will deliver an uppercut. Sliding your finger to the left or right will send a hook flying at your opponent, and tilting the device will cause your guy to dodge. It’s a simple control scheme, but the camera perspective makes it difficult to time these moves properly. This isn’t much of a problem however, as it is very difficult to lose.
In the end, Touch K.O. is a good choice for iPod Touch/iPhone owners who have wanted some portable boxing action. The graphics are solid, the control system is easily to jump into, there are plenty of customization options, and it’s simple to play. It’s also a great way to work off that aggression on your morning commute.