Version Reviewed: 1.6.1
App Reviewed on: iPad Mini 2
Replay Value Rating:
In true 90s style, Fightback follows a vest-clad, sunglass-wearing ex-soldier up a series of tower blocks in search of his kidnapped sister. Where it differs from the side-scrolling fighters of the past however, is in its touchscreen-centric fighting system.
Fightback uses a combination of taps and swipe gestures to build an intuitive and entertaining fighting system. It almost becomes rhythmic as players learn to adapt to different enemy attacks while taking advantage of their weaknesses. While I loved the iOS versions of Streets of Rage and Double Dragon with their retro joystick controls, Fightback brings the genre into the 21st century. There's nothing quite like ducking a swinging bat, high-kicking the guy to the rear, juggling him with flurry of punches, and then popping another thug with a shotgun round before the second one has hit the floor. It just feels cool.
Unfortunately Fightback works on the same stamina system as other freemium games, and that's only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to its tendency to shove in-app purchases in players' faces. It's apparent pretty early on that if players want to make progress quickly, they'll have to upgrade their character and weapons pretty sharpish. However, the only alternative to purchasing more in-game currency is repeating previously completed stages, which of course no one wants to do, so it's in-app purchases to the rescue. While it leaves a bit of a sour taste in the mouth, it doesn't stop Fightback being darn good fun.
Overall, Fightback is bringing the side-scrolling beat-em-up up to date and to the forefront again. It's brutal, fun, and shamelessly cheesy, making for a game that manages to keep its replay value despite its repetitive gameplay. If players can look past the constant pestering regarding in-game currency they'll find a great, content-packed game behind it all.