Developer: Ravenous Games, Inc.
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad mini

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★½☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★½☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

Imagine going into work one day and sitting down at the computer only to find a termination email. This situation would enrage me but I’m not sure if I would take it as far as the character in Beatdown!. After receiving his termination email, he decides he’s fed up with the bosses and takes out his rage by punching his coworkers and security guards to fight his way to those responsible for his termination.

Beatdown! is a side-scrolling game with retro 8-bit artwork. Players navigate around using an on-screen joystick on the left side of the screen that moves the unnamed office worker in any direction he needs to go. There are two additional buttons on the right side of the screen that are used to jump and attack. That’s about all there is to it. The game basically consists of moving around and repeatedly tapping on the two buttons to attack and avoid being attacked. There are no additional points awarded for combos and there are no special moves. It’s a bare-bones, no-frills control style that fits in well with the retro theme of the game, but it also doesn’t allow for much variety.

The game starts off at the office but quickly progresses to the outside world. There are enemy security guards as well as firemen, cops and many other characters that attempt to take the disgruntled employee down. The enemies get a little tougher as the game progresses but none provide too big of a challenge. There are only 20 stages to get through so the game is really short and most players will be able to get through the whole thing easily. I was disappointed at how short it is and that the gameplay doesn’t change very much or increase in difficulty. All the game really did for me is get my right thumb tired from constantly tapping on the screen. The controls can sometimes be unresponsive so there are a few bugs to work out, but I think this will improve over time as the developers release updates.

Overall I’d have to say that Beatdown! has a clever plot and some whimsical characters, but it lacks a lot in the important areas. While $0.99 isn’t that much to pay for a game, players do expect some sort of return in the form of challenging gameplay and enough content to distract them for hours. Sadly, Beatdown! doesn’t provide much in these two areas that will give players much of an ROI. The artwork and sound are great but I’d still have a hard time fully recommending it due to the downsides mentioned.

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