img_0324We gave some quick impressions of Touch KO immediately after its release, but have since been able to spend some time to play through the game. As we mentioned before, the game offers an impressive looking boxing game for your iPhone.

Touch KO's multi-touch controls are surprisingly comfortable and an in-game tutorial walks you through the moves. Tapping either the left or right side of the screen punches with that arm, and different gestures like swiping towards the center lets loose a hook, while swiping upwards throws an uppercut. Holding your thumb on either side of the screen blocks with that arm, and tilting the iPhone makes you dodge. The controls are rather easy to pick up and contribute to a rather immersive experience once you get comfortable.

In fact, I'd say that Touch KO's controls are one of the best aspects of the game. In contrast, while the main boxing competitor in the App Store, Iron Fist Boxing [$3.99], seems to have "deeper" controls, I was never able to get as comfortable with its four-quadrant portrait oriented system. Ironically, though, Touch KO's control's simplicity has been one of the criticisms of the game as there are no body shots or lower punches possible.


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As mentioned in our impressions article, however, many of the early customers found that the game was too easy. While there seems to be some differing opinions amongst players exactly how easy, the general sentiment remains the same and one that we also agree with.

touchkoThe game offers a career mode that takes you through Amateur, Professional and Championship tiers as you earn money to upgrade your equipment. Completion of the career mode consists of 30+ fights to win before you can be declared Champion. Each fight lasts as many as five 3-minute rounds. However, once you get good enough, a match can easily be over within the first round by a knockout. This means depending on your skills, career mode could be over in just a couple of hours. While you can continue to fight on after being declared champion, once I had gotten my groove, none of the last tier fighters offered me any challenge at all. (The developers seem aware of the AI criticisms and are planning on adding an "expert" mode in the first update.)

The game also suffers from some minor 1.0 issues including a lack of a pause button as well as the inability to skip past knockout instant replays which can get tedious to watch.

For those looking for another opinion on Touch KO can look at Big Albie's user review which goes into more detail on the game mechanics, but comes to the same general conclusion:

The best looking boxing game available in the iTunes store but weak AI hinders it; for the price, it delivers cheap entertainment, but keep your expectations in check

The game does have great controls, a high quality look and feel, and a lot of potential, but experienced gamers are finding the game to be too easy in its current form.

App Store Link: Touch KO, $2.99

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TouchArcade Rating

  • ksl2006

    Runs extremely slow on my iPod Touch 1G... amazing game otherwise... almost non playable >.<

  • ksl2006

    Runs extremely slow on my iPod Touch 1G... amazing game otherwise... almost non playable >.<

  • arn

    for the record, we tested on the 3G and 3GS and it was good/playable on both.

  • arn

    for the record, we tested on the 3G and 3GS and it was good/playable on both.

  • Mike

    I bought this last night and it runs perfectly on my 3G, so it looks as though the slow down could be a gen 1 only. Awesome game, I was hooked on the career mode for hoooooooooours last night! Best portable boxing game I've ever played for sure!

  • Mike

    I bought this last night and it runs perfectly on my 3G, so it looks as though the slow down could be a gen 1 only. Awesome game, I was hooked on the career mode for hoooooooooours last night! Best portable boxing game I've ever played for sure!

  • munkee

    arn: are you saying it runs just as smooth on iPhone 3G or 'just playable'? For reference, Let's Golf is playable, but not smooth.

  • http://deleted munkee

    arn: are you saying it runs just as smooth on iPhone 3G or 'just playable'? For reference, Let's Golf is playable, but not smooth.

  • arn

    just loaded up the game again on 3G. there are some slowdowns with knockouts compared to 3GS but actual gameplay seems pretty good. I think 3GS is smoother but I don't think you'd notice difference on 3G.

  • arn

    just loaded up the game again on 3G. there are some slowdowns with knockouts compared to 3GS but actual gameplay seems pretty good. I think 3GS is smoother but I don't think you'd notice difference on 3G.

  • mr.true

    whats wrong with the ppl. i played the game and it doesnt feel like a boxing game at all. gfx are great and thats it. the animations are terrible (looks like two ladies fighting each other in slowmo).
    cant understand why everyone feel in love with such a peace of ...

    perhaps you change some textures and give it a name like : "brüno: the böxing game"

    medicore 2.1

  • mr.true

    whats wrong with the ppl. i played the game and it doesnt feel like a boxing game at all. gfx are great and thats it. the animations are terrible (looks like two ladies fighting each other in slowmo).
    cant understand why everyone feel in love with such a peace of ...

    perhaps you change some textures and give it a name like : "brüno: the böxing game"

    medicore 2.1

  • fj

    i was actually liking this, but found out a trick that made the game too easy. just block with both arms, and lay off the block for one of them for just a second and block again. the computer will try to hit you, but you will be able to block the shot and hit him. just repeat and you will win.

    don't do the agility training, keep focusing on stamina and power.

  • fj

    i was actually liking this, but found out a trick that made the game too easy. just block with both arms, and lay off the block for one of them for just a second and block again. the computer will try to hit you, but you will be able to block the shot and hit him. just repeat and you will win.

    don't do the agility training, keep focusing on stamina and power.

  • chango

    i think they should incorporate what ironfist does, in that the screen is broken up into quadrants. if you touch the bottom half it's a body shot and the upper half is head blow. i think it would make it more strategic.
    they also need a pause button and the ability to skip the replays.

    it has potential but imo has fallen a little short. i waited for this with as much anticipation as i waited for zen bound, and got a huge payoff on zen bound but not so big with this one.
    i am now hoping gangstar:westcoast hustle falls more in the zen bound bracket.

  • chango

    i think they should incorporate what ironfist does, in that the screen is broken up into quadrants. if you touch the bottom half it's a body shot and the upper half is head blow. i think it would make it more strategic.
    they also need a pause button and the ability to skip the replays.

    it has potential but imo has fallen a little short. i waited for this with as much anticipation as i waited for zen bound, and got a huge payoff on zen bound but not so big with this one.
    i am now hoping gangstar:westcoast hustle falls more in the zen bound bracket.

  • John

    I actually really loved this game, I know people criticized this game for being too easy but hopefully the expert mode in the next update will fix that. My only other criticism would be that it gets annoying to have a replay after every single time your opponent falls to the ground. You should be able to skip the replay and if your gonna have a replay at all, at least make it exciting with music or something. Oh also it would be nice to be able to pause the game, while playing that got annoying as well.

  • John

    I actually really loved this game, I know people criticized this game for being too easy but hopefully the expert mode in the next update will fix that. My only other criticism would be that it gets annoying to have a replay after every single time your opponent falls to the ground. You should be able to skip the replay and if your gonna have a replay at all, at least make it exciting with music or something. Oh also it would be nice to be able to pause the game, while playing that got annoying as well.

  • Tim

    I like this game the more I play it, even though I've gone through 35 bouts with my fighter and it's too easy. An expert mode will help that. Besides needing a pause button and a way to skip the replays, I think this game needs body shots. It's just not a complete boxing sim with only head punches. After these changes are made though, this will be a GREAT game. Definitely will rival Fight Night on the PSP.

  • Tim

    I like this game the more I play it, even though I've gone through 35 bouts with my fighter and it's too easy. An expert mode will help that. Besides needing a pause button and a way to skip the replays, I think this game needs body shots. It's just not a complete boxing sim with only head punches. After these changes are made though, this will be a GREAT game. Definitely will rival Fight Night on the PSP.

  • stephen granger

    Love the game, hate the problems I have with it though. Will be in the midle of a figth and just sends me back to the home screen on my itouch. runs slow then stops and goes back to home screen. hope that issues are fuixed. be upsaet if i paid more that $3 for the game.

  • stephen granger

    Love the game, hate the problems I have with it though. Will be in the midle of a figth and just sends me back to the home screen on my itouch. runs slow then stops and goes back to home screen. hope that issues are fuixed. be upsaet if i paid more that $3 for the game.

  • Ali

    ksl2006 it might be your firmware or maybe your ipod is to old because i tried it on my ipo touch 2gen and its works perfectly fine

  • Ali

    ksl2006 it might be your firmware or maybe your ipod is to old because i tried it on my ipo touch 2gen and its works perfectly fine