Super Punch Patrol took just over a year to take the step from the drawing board to the eShop on the Nintendo Switch. It really is not bad for a lone developer (with the assistance of the brother with the music). Just like its spiritual predecessor Gunman Clive oozes the minimalist quality.
Bertil Hörberg has his Hörberg Productions made himself known to the two Gunman Clivegames on Nintendo 3DS (and later also Wii U, PC and most recently Nintendo Switch). His subsequent project, the ambitious Mechstermination Force, was made with a larger team and a longer development period. After this, Hörberg wanted to take a break from bigger games and test his own ability with a smaller project. The result is Super Punch Patrol.
If Gunman Clive looks in admiration at Capcom’s Mega Man, is the gaze of Super Punch Patrol attached to SEGA’s Streets of Rage. The similar story (the little one where it actually is) is as stereotypical as it can get. So to the mild degree that it is not directly presented in the game itself. Get ready for the 80s:
Året är 202X. Våld och brott härskar på gatorna i Gravy City. Det onda brottssyndikatet E.C.S. styr staden med järnhand och kontrollerar nästan alla tjänstemän, inklusive polisen; blott en handfull officerare står utanför korruptionen. Polischef Anders Punch och de två syskonen Nils och Selma Snyting tillhör dessa och kommer att göra allt i sin makt för att besegra E.C.S. – med knytnävarna som enda hjälp.
Super Punch Patrol has a next-but-not-really-black-and-white visual presentation that stands out in exactly the same way as Clive’s sepia-toned adventures. Anders, Nils and Selma are blue in color, the enemies are cherry colored and other objects and backgrounds are purely monochrome. They bring to mind sketches on newsprint. It is still unique, but does not work quite as well as Hörberg’s previous games. Above all, I myself find it difficult to see which option is illuminated in the menus; the dark blue against the black-brown unfortunately merges. However, it is a rather small problem, and I would not be surprised if I am alone about it.
Super Punch Patrols gameplay
Super Punch Patrol is of old school beat ’em ups, quite simply. You have three playable characters, each with their unique punches and kicks. You can play alone or with a friend. When you die or pass the last level, the collected points unlock more costumes for the characters, which gives some replay value. And that’s good, considering the game is five pitiful courses long. However, do not think that it will be an easy match for that; Super Punch Patrol will kick your normally gifted ass all the way to Easy Mode. Or at least until you have mastered the game mechanics properly.
Regardless of the degree of difficulty, I could not see any difference in damage parameters, but the only difference between Easy, Normal and Hard is the number of lives and virtual credits. Hard Mode in single player mode looks like it could be this year’s achievement-type of challenge. Although all enemies have very competent ways of showing what they are doing, it is not so easy to avoid their onslaught. Jumping kicks and difficult grips mean that you do not want to stay too far away, but also not be too close. This is of course a little easier to deal with with a friend. Otherwise it will be to use your heavy attack – but more about that below.
Gameplay-wise flows Super Punch Patrol on just as it should. Here is a light attack, a heavy attack (which hurts yourself; use with caution), jumps, sprints, grips and combinations of these. Trash cans on the road contain things that restore health or burn weapons that can stand by you until you break or drop them. If this sounds familiar, it’s probably because it’s. And in this case, it’s something good. Super Punch Patrol embraces all that made games like Final Fight, Double Dragon and previously mentioned Streets of Rage so popular.
A third feather in the hat
Ultimately delivers Super Punch Patrol a third feather in the cap for Bertils Hörberg Productions (if you do not count Gunman Clive 2; then there will be four). In depth, the game design is proven, competent and very familiar. On the surface, it is a nice cape with a wonderful sense of humor. The Swedish (Nordic?) Player clearly gets the most out of names like Gun-Britt and Selma Snyting, and it’s wonderful to see such representation in a game like Super Punch Patrol, regardless of whether it’s more like humor for inmates.
Super Punch Patrol is a nice surprise that should not be missed by any beat ’em up fan, and I sincerely hope that it lives and thrives among the eShop’s (at the time of writing) almost 3000 games.
The soundtrack may, by the way, be a bit below Gunman Clive in humility, but is perfectly suited for Super Punch Patrol. Arne Hörberg recently released it in its entirety Bandcamp.
Super Punch Patrol was released Nintendo eShop on September 17, 2020 and costs SEK 50. The game is so far exclusive on the Nintendo Switch and is only available to buy digitally.