We got our hands on an early copy of Rocketcat Games' upcoming endless puncher, Punch Quest, and really like what we're seeing so far. I instantly plugged in my capture gear and recorded ten minutes of very early gameplay footage, showing the power level of your guy and the various unlocks you'll have when you download the game after it's released next Wednesday.

Punch Quest is going to be free, and loaded with unlocks to work towards. Alternatively, coins can be purchased in game to speed up your progress, but so far I haven't come across any need to do so unless you're just the kind of person who has to have everything now. Of course like all Rocketcat Games, there's tons and tons of hats to unlock. It's crazy just how much customization there is in this game to work towards.

Take a look at the video:

As mentioned, Punch Quest will be available on the 25th, or, more accurately, 11:00 PM Eastern the night before. It'll be free, and it's awesome.

  • NeonGreenKermit

    Noooo! As much as I love Rocketcat (and I really do), I can't help but feel disappointed in the IAP move, especially as the dev was vocal in his denouncement of the system a while back. I'd happily pay a fiver for Rocketcat games, and there is no need for any good dev to go down the freemium route - it only encourages a sort of devious, lazy, design, as well as basically devaluing the worth of your product. Sad times :'/

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      You don't have to pay for anything in this game. If you want to support the developer, buy one of the IAP. It's as simple as that. There's no nefarious schemes in this game. I can't even buy IAP in my pre-release version and the game is fine.

    • http://twitter.com/rocketcatgames Rocketcat Games

      I still don't like a lot of freemium implementations, and I still think there are flaws in the system. I thought Temple Run's IAP system was respectful, though, which we based a lot of the Punch Quest IAP on. I think we can still improve on this if we do another free title, though. League of Legends has the best system I can think of, where you can't even really buy progress at all, which appeals to me.

      Anyway, I'm interested in if you think the game suffered do to this decision, after you get a chance to play it.

      • http://www.podcubed.com/ Pod Cubed

        Going to have to agree, League of Legends really locked it down. Looking forward to it Rocketcat, looks fantastic in the vid!

      • Noah

        I've probably given League of Legends $250+ dollars over the course of the last year. It's a pretty good way of making a free-to-play game fun.

      • NeonGreenKermit

        Thanks for the reply. I believe in Rocketcat! Will certainly play it, most likely love it, and probably pay for something just because I don't like the idea of free games (no, really, I don't! I will always donate something if I enjoy a free game and play it hours on end, I believe it's good ethics to support artistry). To reiterate my previous point though, philosophically speaking, I personally think that making something free kinda sends out a message to people - not a healthy one, IMO. I know there's obviously money in this route right now, but I think this trend will only continue to further govern the design of mobile gaming away from small works of art that should - nay, demand! - a price for entry because they're superb, and towards a sort of slot-fuelled circus side show. Just my opinion anyway!

      • http://twitter.com/rocketcatgames Rocketcat Games

        Thanks! Frankly, it really sucks to be on the wrong end of a trend. It's swimming upstream.. 

        An example is how we never do sales, except on release day. I think this actually hurts us more than it benefits us. We didn't want to contribute to the "it goes on sale the next day anyway" trend, but it already became ingrained because we're one developer versus thousands. The end result is that someone says they'll wait for a sale on our games, and instead of giving up and getting the game, they'll just forget about it.

        We're trying out free games for a similar reason.

  • classicrockme

    I would pay these guys to update their hooking games for iPad and iPhone 5. It's so disappointing that none of those games are optimized for either of my new devices.

    • http://twitter.com/rocketcatgames Rocketcat Games

      We need to do iPad updates, but I'm not sure if we can ever update the hook games to use the new iPhone 5 widescreen. The problem is that if you do this, pre 3GS devices can no longer run the games, and I don't want to cause a situation where someone's games suddenly no longer work. We were looking into a workaround for this, but that's why.

      • Zam Zar

        Wouldn't it only stop working if you set the deployment target to iOS 5 or 6? Or is iOS 5 the lowest you can set it to now?

      • http://www.facebook.com/balazsnyitray Balázs Nyitray

        Are you planning updates to the hook games? If not, i think it's an ok thing to make an update wich doesnt support 3gs but i5, and if someone plays it on 3gs than he wont update the game.

      • Noah

        You could always require iOS 6 to install the latest update for the original Hook game. I did love that thing and really disliked when you started making the endless runner/hook games instead. I want set levels to beat. I like that sense of accomplishment more...

      • http://twitter.com/rocketcatgames Rocketcat Games

        We thought about the "they just don't have to update" side of it, but we worried too much about people deleting their game and then being stuck if they wanted to redownload it. I don't think there's an option to download an older version, if there was, there wouldn't be a problem.

        Also, for future games, I really want to get back into set levels (levels that end), but set levels that are randomly generated. This has been my interest for a long time now, but we've only recently learned enough to be able to attempt this.

      • Noah

        But at some point you have to stop supporting phones that Apple themselves no longer support (3+ years old).

      • classicrockme

        Exactly!

      • Noah

        Alternatively, you can add a "Pre-iPhone 5" version that is basically the exact same IPA that currently exists for Hook World... then upload a NEW "Hook World for iPhone 5" version that uses the expanded screen. 

        Just throwing out ideas...

      • http://twitter.com/RodrigoRodrigoR Rodrigo Cardoso

        I think this is an option only for new games. Removing support for older devices in a game that was bought by a user is VERY disrecpectful, and apple is not allowing a easy way to not disrespect these costumers if you want to support iPhone 5, this is a shame.

        Anyway, an option to donwload Old versions in these cases is the best option, but Apple dont mind.

  • http://iqsoup.com/ iqSoup

    Looks like a good one!  I too hate most IAP--even when done tastefully it tends to ruin the game.  It strips away the feeling of accomplishment you get when beating something difficult in the game--you know you could have just paid a dollar to avoid all the hard work.  It kind of doesn't make sense--aren't you just playing the game for fun anyways?  But logical or not paying to win sort makes a game feel hollow and somehow fake.

    At the same time I understand where devs are coming from (I am full time mobile game dev myself).  If you charge money for your game--even a single dollar--it becomes VERY hard to get even a handful of people to download your app.  Its sometimes not that big of a hurdle for big time developers but for lesser known devs it can be hard to convince people to drop that dollar when they know little about you and the level quality of your games.  But a developer might spend a year--or longer--and thousands of dollars making a single title.  They need to monetise somehow.  Users typically hate ads so thats out so all you're left with is IAP.  You can make the IAP unobtrusive and unrelated to ingame performance, but then no one tends to buy your IAP.

    So in the end many devs are left with one viable option: make the game free so lots of people DL it and hopefully the game catches on goes a bit viral, and THEN essentially force or at least highly encourage players to buy IAP to get ahead in the game.  Its a horrible model and a plague to the app store, but unfortunately for many devs its the only option.  I have a game I'll be releasing soon and I really don't know what route to choose. Should I charge a dollar for it and hope that more than a few dozen people buy my app?  Do I make it free and put ads all over the thing?  Or do I follow the conventional wisdom and cram the game full with dreaded IAP???  Feedback?

    • http://twitter.com/rocketcatgames Rocketcat Games

      If you think you're going to have a small audience, I recommend one of two things.

      One is making the game more than a dollar. $3 seems like the agreed upon "interesting risk" price. A game that looks good, but is unfamiliar. Less probably won't get more sales unless you have a lot of charting power to back it up.

      The other is trying to expand your audience with a free game. To make money off a free game you really need a ton of downloads and IAP purchases. But if your free game doesn't get enough of an audience to make money, say just 50,000 people, that's still a lot more people that knows you exist. Your next game is much more likely to succeed, at the cost of your first probably not doing so.

      As for us, we're looking into splitting our games between free with IAP and the $5 price point. If both those plans fail, our backup plan is probably just leaving the platform.

      • Noah

        And go where? Android? Windows Marketplace? PSN?

      • http://twitter.com/rocketcatgames Rocketcat Games

        PC, maybe consoles.

  • Schpank

    On my planet this would be considered poo

  • MidianGTX

    No brainer. Anyone who knows Rocketcat will trust the IAP is implemented respectfully. These guys aren't sellouts, they just want to get their games out there and sometimes you need to follow the trends to make that happen.

  • Noah

    I really wish it had levels like in a Sonic game vs. just being an endless runner. Le sigh.

  • http://twitter.com/BenfromBoston Ben

    I think this game looks awesome.  I have been following on twitter and couldn't tell if the devs were joking about this game or not but now that I see the video, I am super pumped.  I am a Jetpack Joyride addict and I am a bit worn out from it so this looks like it could easily take its place.  It looks so unique and random, which I love.  Can't wait to play.

  • nonstickron

    Love the portrait mode, one handed play all the way!

  • Jazzpha

    Are features like the integrated Twitter function going to make iOS 5 mandatory to run the game? That would be super unfortunate for those of us who're still chilling in 4.x, especially considering that I don't even ever use social media functions woven into games like that.

    • http://twitter.com/rocketcatgames Rocketcat Games

      You're fine if you're 4.3 or above.

      • Jazzpha

        Awesome! Thanks for the quick reply; really looking forward to next Wednesday!