Plasma Puncher Review

By Tim Chappell

Publisher
Tomatotrap

Developer
Tomatotrap

Platform
PC

Release
May 11, 2017

 

Plasma Puncher is an awesome brawler that will have you returning to beat up it's horde of cute and evil germ monsters time and time again

This is a game of war. This is a game of battle. This is a game of death… and fighting off waves of cute little pigs and octopus-like germs of mayhem and destruction. Indie developer Tomatotrap's Plasma Puncher is a call back to some of our favorite 2D side scrolling beat’em ups, albeit with its own twist and flavor. With a great soundtrack and audio, solid controls with satisfying combat, challenging gameplay, and enjoyable visuals, this game has a bit of something for every kind of indie game lover.

In Plasma Puncher you are the last white blood cell against a horde of enemy germs. Keeping the game focused more on combat, the whole game takes place on a circular level as you fight off waves of enemies with a solid combat system that lets you steadily apply upgrades as the game progresses. At first the combat seemed pretty simple and uninteresting, but as you slowly begin unlocking combos, ground pounds, throws, and defensive buffs it really fleshes out into a fully-fledged and well thought out system. And perhaps most importantly, the combat systems feels gratifying, with a sense of weight and contact paired with a satisfying cracking as you defeat your enemies. This combination really makes the punching in Plasma Puncher fun.

One of the first things I really enjoyed about the game was the soundtrack. With a retro groovy vibe, the music sets the stage for a fun experience, and with the music changing after each wave of enemies, I never found a song in the game I didn’t enjoy. And that also applies to the graphics and character designs with the variety in character customization and enemy types. One cool little piece of customizing in the game allows the player to switch out different hats for their white blood cell warrior - reminiscent of Rocket League’s car customization. The enemies are simply designed to let you know what their different abilities are and to help you figure out how to defeat them. For example there were some enemies with spikes on the top of their heads as they jump up and down, cuing the player that they needed to attack the enemy from below, while another enemy had the opposite configuration.

My main criticism of the game is the inconsistent difficulty. I’ll start off by saying I am by no means an expert in these kinds of games, but the difficulty would often randomly spike out of nowhere which was a bit jarring. I had several instances where I was cruising through the waves and then all of the sudden multiple enemies spawn and attack at the same time with very little room to maneuver out of the path of enemy fire. And after testing the game on all three difficulty levels, I learned that even the game's easy mode ramps up pretty quickly, causing me to die often. That being said, there are occasional power ups that float into the game at random intervals and those were invaluable in helping me get past tough spots. One very frustrating thing that happened more than a few times was having an enemy literally spawn right on top of my character, killing me instantly in the process. This kind of thing just seems cheap and takes the sense of control out of the players hands which is always annoying. However, it was a great feeling when I was actually able to overcome the difficulties.

An issue I can see other players having is the single circular level the game takes place on. With little variety in the background and no other real environmental changes it does get a little monotonous fighting in the same location for a few hours. I feel like this may have been done intentionally to focus the game on the combat and enemies instead of any kind of platforming or exploration, but still, a little variety would have been nice.

Despite its critiques, overall I really enjoyed the game. I would recommend the game to anybody who would enjoy the old school beat’em ups of yesteryear or always wanted to take part in an epic battle of germs and white blood cells. With a surprisingly in-depth upgrade system, great music, fulfilling combat, and a challenging experience, Plasma Puncher is an experience I’m glad I had.

Tomatotrap's Plasma Puncher will be available on May 11 on Steam. GameGuiders were given a PC code for the purposes of this review.

7.5/10

2 Responses

  1. Appreciate the recommendation. Let me try it out.
    • admin
      Our reviewer quite enjoyed this game. Have fun!

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