Last week we took a look at a new video for upcoming boxing game Beast Boxing 3D [$2.99/Lite] from Goodhustle Studios. The video boasted some impressive looking character models and fluid animations, but my biggest concern was how the game would control since that had been a sticking point for me with previous boxing games. Just a couple days after our preview post, Beast Boxing 3D popped up on the App Store. After spending the majority of my weekend with the game, I can happily say that the visuals are even more impressive in person and the controls work like a charm. It's over fairly quickly and the overall mechanics are pretty simple, but Beast Boxing 3D is a lot of fun while it lasts and the simplicity actually works to make it a more enjoyable experience given the touch screen interface.
In Beast Boxing 3D, you'll play as a human who enters a “beasts only” boxing federation as a means of making money and escaping your slum lifestyle. A clever costume convinces the other beasts that you're one of them, and the trainer at the local gym takes you under his wing as you rise up the ranks. The career mode spans 9 different opponents, each with their own distinct style and special moves. In between fights you can hit the gym where you're able to spend coins collected during matches on upgrades to your boxer. Also you can rematch any previously defeated opponent to earn some extra coins if you feel like you need additional upgraded abilities before your next career match.
The control scheme in Beast Boxing 3D is really simple and responsive. The screen is split in half, with the gestures performed on either side of the screen corresponding to your left or right arm. Quick taps are used to perform jabs, short horizontal swipes for hooks, and vertical swipes for uppercuts. Holding a thumb down on each side of the screen blocks and tilting moves your boxer to the left and right within the ring. There isn't the ability to perform body blows, which may be essential if you're looking for a pure boxing experience, but their absence actually benefits the arcade nature of Beast Boxing 3D. It's the kind of game that anybody can pick up easily, but it still retains a ton of strategy in how you use your boxer's moves and deal with the capable AI opponents.
While it won't take long to work your way through the 9 opponents in the career mode if you're playing on Casual difficulty, Gamer and Hardcore difficulties will really test your skills. Unlike the Punch-Out! games that Beast Boxing 3D draws inspiration from, your opponents won't follow a set pattern of attacks. If you use the same combos over and over they will adapt to your offense, requiring you to mix up your strategy. This aspect of the game is really well done, and gives each match a natural feel that increases the replay value quite a bit. Rematching defeated opponents for some extra cash can be necessary to purchase upgrades that help you progress through the game, but often I found myself jumping into a quick rematch with an opponent just for the sheer fun of it.
Beast Boxing 3D is exactly the kind of boxing game I've been waiting for. The controls and game mechanics are simple, but there is subtle strategy that runs fairly deep and the intelligent opponent AI ensures that the game doesn't wear too thin. It's an absolutely gorgeous game, and although it doesn't currently support Retina Display graphics you'd be hard pressed to tell, as it looks fantastic even without it. Goodhustle has stated in our forums that high resolution graphics are a possibility for the future, but new characters and arenas are a higher priority. The current price of $2.99 is a limited introductory price, and should jump up to $4.99 soon. There is a lite version to try, so if you're looking for an excellent boxing game for your iOS device then make sure to at least check out the lite version of Beast Boxing 3D.