My favorite beat 'em ups have character and personality, tight combat and hit-boxes, and responsive controls that allow for tactical decision making. If they also have referential humor, a great art direction, a kick ass soundtrack, and a bad ass bear-punching, beard-having protagonist - like in Fist of Awesome [$0.99] - that's even better.

This game is indeed an homage to classic beat 'em ups, but in a way that says more about what makes its creator, Nicoll Hunt, laugh and smile. Its story is silly, intentionally convoluted, and revolves around a time-traveling lumberjack - named Tim Burr - whose fist mysteriously gathers a voice and drags him through a plot of enslaved humans and homicidal forest animals.

You should be smiling already.

Controls are thankfully gesture-based - I hate virtual controls. Surprisingly, Fist of Awesome controls perfectly, always responding to swipes and taps. The smile gets bigger.

Fist of Awesome does nearly everything else right. Its numerous, charmingly designed enemies have unique attacks and weaknesses, its art direction oddly beautiful to look at, and, as mentioned, its controls tight and intuitive on touch devices.

Tim also has upgradable attributes - health, attack damage, special, etc. - just because RPG elements are awesome; as is the slew of unlockable additional characters to fight with in Fist of Awesome's arena mode.

In the arena, you compete against the clock for a high score. To score points you must complete battle achievements like 11x combos, drop-kicking 4 bears, and much more. This mode really extends the game past its fairly short campaign and adds a bunch more fun to the mix while unveiling most of the depth of its combat mechanics through challenge.

Fist of Awesome embodies the word fun; everything about it. It's important because it's a personal reflection of its creator, and not because it's doing anything ground-breaking in the genre. It engages, makes you laugh, and stands out without trying too hard. Did I mention it plays exceptional well on iOS?

Fist of Awesome is simply... awesome.

TouchArcade Rating

  • clompah

    This game was so awesome. I first got it when touch arcade announced that it was free. Ever since then I've played it everyday.

    • MrAsherkEsq

      How about supporting the devs and throwing them a few of your own hard earned cents instead of gloating over your freebie?

      • BlueFalcN

        Someone's jealous they didn't get it free

      • abodi

        I saw no gloating

      • C. Stubb

        Or perhaps he's (she?) supporting the developer by giving the game good feedback maybe...

      • REkzkaRZ

        Don't hate the player (for getting it for free).

      • JohnTS

        Haha you whiny prick.

    • Lazer Kat

      So you were a kick starter backer?

    • renatpl

      Me too I got it for free but still, it costs less than a hooker, just buy it

      • Jake7905

        But it still costs more then the hooker with one tooth.

  • lll Anubis lll

    Was I the only one who hated the controls?

    • Pipipitchu

      I didn't hate, but didn't love either. Controls are wierd, graphics are not as good as other similar pixelated games, stages are repetitive... Overall, it is an overrated game in my opinion. Not bad, but not awesome either. Too much hype made this game disappointing to me.

      • orangecan

        I'd second that. Just didn't do if for me, loved the idea and concept but the gameplay itself just didn't grab me.

      • Bool Zero

        Thirds. The humor was spot on but the game was just okay when it came to gameplay an presentation. I realize some have a love affair for anything pixelated that tries to look remotely retro, but for me the style just wasn't very good. Like commented earlier, there seemed an overwhelming amount of hype over this game and for me it was just good but forgettable...

  • Kane

    Fist of Awesome by I FIGHT BEARS LTD... That made me smile 🙂

  • Benste

    I love this game so much! It's such a crazy funny game. I did get it for free, but I will hopefully buy it whenever I get some iTunes money because it's so fun! I've told all my friends to buy it, so hopefully the awesome devs got some money from them in the mean time. I highly recommend this game!

  • DeNappa

    A small correction: the missions in arena mode add time - not score. Although you will need that time to punch more bears in the mouth, of course.

    Anyway, a pretty fun game, certainly worth it.

  • Jesse7277

    Anyone interested in adding me on Game Center? Need some friends cause I'm a loser.

    • ChilLama

      ...Somebody needs more smelf-confidence.

      • anabolicMike

        How dare you assume such a thing? Maybe this person has tons of self confidence but is in fact simply a loser. I think it's pretty rude of you to simply say they don't have any self confidence! It could be supreme confidence! It takes confidence to know when your a loser and state it as a fact. You hit this all wrong brother.

      • kioshi

        I love deep analyses out of nowhere.

      • defaultuser12

        So does my girlfriend.

      • theundertow

        You guys want to bear hug it up?!

      • Jesse7277

        I was kinda just playing around but now I'm sad. Maybe I am a loser?

      • Jay

        Just say you're a girl - this is the internet, you'll have lots of "friends" in no time!

  • Zhang Doe

    Read through the forums. There are a number of us who found this game to be really dull and repetitive. Yes, it has style and charm, but actual game play is ... dull and repetitive. (See what I did there?) Hoping an update addresses this critical problem. There are other, much better hack 'n' slash games out there.

    • Zhang Doe

      Forgot to say that I'd give it three stars.

      • mike

        what are the better hacknslashers?

    • C. Stubb

      I don't believe TA bases their reviews on what people say about the game in the forums...I believe they base their reviews on their gameplay experience after actually having played the game themselves.

      That being said, I still can't believe this game got 4.5. I played it (or tried too), and would give it somewhere around a 2. But hey, jusayin'.

      • Zhang Doe

        Just meant that people would do well to read the forums as opposed to basing their purchasing decisions solely off this questionable review.

      • defaultuser12

        Actually from what I have read, TA doesn't give reviews, they give recommendations. The stars mean how much they recommend a game.

  • Elmo Rabisto

    Might have liked this on c64 back in the day, though even it had many games with better graphics and audio like Turrican, Last Ninja, IK+, ...

  • Papa Deuce

    I grew up with fighters, and yet this has no appeal to me. Soundtrack was annoying.

    • Earth Vs. Me

      You're in the majority. I don't think this game has much appeal to anyone who doesn't drink PBR and listen to Minus the Bear.

  • deepblueocean84

    I'm enjoying this humorous beat em up, but I am not a fan of the controls.

  • DrlRage

    It's good. I wouldn't say awesome but it was a cool experience. I like where it was going, the idea was charming though the core of the game which was the fighting was barebones and got dull eventually.

  • defaultuser12

    I found it completely boring and repetitive. I would give it 2stars based on gameplay. But that's just my opinion.

  • Jay

    Haha, this game looks hilarious. It seems like the kind of game a certain Gary Larson would approve of 😉

  • drlemon

    Although I may not agree with it (not that I didn't love the game), this review should be 5 stars. You didn't find ANY flaws with it! What accounts for the missing half star?

    • defaultuser12

      They recommend the game, it just isn't a perfect 100% recommendation.

  • Murtida.

    This game is way over rated because: 1- BRO FIST. 2- pewdiepie. 3- pewds fans that play every game he plays. Thumb up if u agree. 3/5

    • drlemon

      What does PewDiePie have to do with this?

  • Apposl

    Sounds like a fantastic game! Way more of a positive review than the five star Oceanhorn you guys just did but hey I am new here. I'll read between the lines and round up on this game's rating. 😉

  • somedumbgamer

    Thought it kinda sucked

    • REkzkaRZ

      Because ... ?

      • somedumbgamer

        Because I found the swipe controls to be annoying and the graphics don't appeal to me. Also found the gameplay very repetitive.

      • REkzkaRZ

        Thanks for explanation. It's helpful.

  • Jugar Jugar

    The game has great content, but to say that its graphics are not very good. It really could just be a game of classic form is not only a modern game

  • araczynski

    could never get past the pixelated graphics, i know it a 'thing' these days with the kids (and those yearning for the good 'ol days), but to me, it just looks like crap from decades ago. leave it where it belongs.

  • BaltimoreDave

    this is a great game

  • brazilianguy

    Peeeewdiepie :3

FIST OF AWESOME Reviewed by Jeffrey deMelo on . Rating: 4.5