When developers Rocketcat Games and Madgarden forged an unholy alliance to produce their endless puncher Punch Quest [Free], we thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread. Well, the greatest thing since punching a loaf of sliced bread at least. Although Punch Quest has been getting extremely high marks from both press and consumers alike – it's currently the highest rated iOS game ever on Metacritic, for those of you who care about that sort of thing – the team hasn't rested on its laurels and today released the first of what I'm sure will be many Punch Quest updates to come.

Topping off the list of new things is a pretty fundamental change to how movement speed is handled in the game. Now, when you're repeatedly mashing away at the Dash Punch button your character's overall speed will actually increase. Uppercutting, downward punches, or blocking will bring you back to the default "jogging" speed. It's a pretty nice change, actually, and keeps the game moving at a brisk clip. They've also made the Gnomey character easier to level up and tweaked the power-ups you'll get during those fits of hallucination you encounter in the game. Sweet, sweet hallucinations.

The other major addition in this update is iCloud save syncing so you can pick up and play the game using any of your iCloud-enabled iOS devices, which is becoming increasingly more handy as there's even more device types out in the wild with the iPad mini on the horizon. Oh, and I almost forgot, but if you leave the title screen idle for a few seconds you'll be treated to a new intro cutscene which shows some of the motivation behind the rampant punching in Punch Quest, as if you somehow need motivation to go around punching everything in sight.

  • riggysmalls

    Everything rocketcat releases is gold. I love their hook swing games and Mage gauntlet. This one is no exception.

  • dylanmannen

    This game is soo awesome! Whould be cool if they added icade :)

  • swarmster

    iCloud support is a breath of fresh air, for sure. I can finally play on the big screen when I'm at home!

    • swarmster

      Hmm, I take it back. iCloud support is majorly incomplete. It basically just syncs your skill unlocks (it doesn't even equip them). So no equip setup, no clothes setup, no high scores, no stats, no level or goal progression. Not sure if this is some weird IAP-encouragement concession or what, but I'm back to iPhone-only for now.

      The best IAP-encouragement, IMO, is to let people pick up their games on whatever device they want.

      (There's also still a weird bug with high scores, where it will frequently double-post your score as both your screen name and "LOCAL" and then sometimes forget about the one with your screen name. Not sure if that's intentional.)

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

        It's just really difficult to sync everything, in a complex game. Too many fringe cases. Like if you play on both devices but don't sync them until some random point, which quests, scores, and level progression doees it keep? Let me know if there's a game you like that does this well, and flawlessly.

        Will check out the scores bug.

      • swarmster

        I'm not following your "fringe cases" argument. iCloud is a central repository. If you've completed quests it doesn't know about, then it updates its knowledge of those as 'complete'. If you have scores it doesn't know about, it integrates them into its high score list. If you've progressed farther than the last level it's seen you achieve, then it corrects itself. In what way could any of those be considered ambiguous?

        Games that do it well: Jetpack Joyride, the Infinity Blades, Carmageddon, anything by RadianGames, anything by Ravenous Games, Swordigo, Galaxy on Fire 2, Crux, etc.

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

        You make it sound so easy. iCloud doesn't work as expected all the time, and when it doesn't it's completely out of our control. When it doesn't, weird stuff happens. ""Fringe cases"" are hard to see when you're using a product that works, but when you're making it, everything is a fringe case just waiting to delete your stats and coins. Especially when you get to two devices buying different things with the same starting amount of coins, then syncing.

        Didn't the Infinity Blades sometimes delete your saves due to an iCloud bug? I remember people talking about that. Same with coins getting deleted when Jetpack Joyride. And those are pretty big companies, with lots of resources to spend on getting it right.

        Maybe it's just better to say that iCloud implementation is a huge pain? We're going to be adding more stuff to it. Maybe we shouldn't have put it in at all, until it supported absolutely everything? But who knows when that will be.

      • Cheeseball

        Yup. I did exhibit the Infinity Blade syncing issue before.

        Try to get in contact with NimbleBit. They seem to have perfected iCloud sync with Pocket Planes. I did this between my iPT4 and new iPT5 and it was a perfect transition for the coins and cash.

  • mrTofu

    Nice, great job.  Really enjoying this and would have easily paid 99c or two.  Hope the IAP is working out. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/ian.vischansky Ian Vischansky

    Someone tell me why I can't get into this game.

    • Ben Ruddock

      Because you're a horrible person who just hates fun. That's all I can think of...

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GTGKBUNEHI7UYUFWTOU2XG3AYY Jay

      Hey, you're not the only one. Seeing all these rave reviews, I had to try it (especially after loving Mage Gauntlet) but it did nothing for me at all.

    • metalsquid

      Me neither. I feel like I should be having so much fun with it but I'm just not. It's the controls. I can't seem to translate what I see the character doing in my head to what happens on the screen. Just keep mashing buttons and hope to stay alive as long as possible. Maybe I just haven't learned the finer nuances of this game yet but usually there's something that compels me to stick around and figure them out. Nice as the visuals are and though I like the theme, I'm just not feeling it on this one.

      • http://www.facebook.com/ian.vischansky Ian Vischansky

         Such high rated games I don't like initially I just play in short bursts till I enjoy it.  Maybe today's the day!

      • http://www.facebook.com/ian.vischansky Ian Vischansky

         To calm all those concerned gamers, it finally clicked and I like the game!  Hooray!

      • mfGLOVE

        I struggled a bit with the control scheme at first, too.  It doesn't really make clear the different combo options so I found myself mashing and dying a lot.  I wasn't sure about blocking either at first (both buttons simultaniously).  I've since learned how enemies act and the best way to take them out and continue combos.  To avoid damage from flying enemies I often use a slam punch as I find the uppercut or jumping jab inflicts damage upon myself.  Uppercut is needed for those with shields.  It's also fun to find out what action to use to defeat bosses (eyefist use slam and skull use uppercut).  The levels of ability are still a bit confusing to me.  The meter at the bottom shows when they become active (I think) after combos are accumulated.  I'd suggest sticking with it.  The unlocables open new paths, treasures, and many other fun options.  I'm diggin it so far.  Best free game I've played in a loooong while.

  • SporadicMovement

    Old School challenge isn't a bad thing. With no hand holding, you'll feel accomplished when you figure out enemy strategies, or the best combination of powers. This game nails the "gotta play one more" feeling, in my opinion.

    Although I can see it getting boring soon, but that's what updates are for.

  • BlottoBrah

    In regards to the iCloud syncing comment, I recall Zombieville USA 2 worked well. It readily transferred equipment upgrades, currency, and character set ups between devices. I think it happened prior to the iCloud feature and may have used Gamecenter somehow to transfer data.

    ICloud or not, Punch Quest is a phenomenal game.