One Finger Death Punch

REVIEW: One Finger Death Punch

Hey Microsoft, you paying attention? Here’s a (currently) Xbox-exclusive reason to come around and start courting indie developers for the Xbox One. It’s called One Finger Death Punch (80 MSP), and it’s better than any Orwellian camera device ever cooked up. Coming from a developer you might not expect (despite winning awards), Silver Dollar Games has crafted one of the finest examples yet on why indie development is not only key to any future console’s success, but required.

Even watching the game is fun.

The idea is remarkably simple; a lone stick-figure ninja against a mob of angry stickmen, offering the highly-cinematic thrill of beating the blank faces off of all comers. The game comes with as much content and polish as an arcade title, streamlined controls (there is no movement, X and B do everything) that your grandmother could adapt to, and undeniably fun, infectious core gameplay that cannot be equaled.

Oh, and trust me, that simplicity— it’s deceptive. Enemies start off easy enough (plenty of fodder to go around), but soon you’re facing off against stronger opponents that can take a punch, require delicate timing, and multiple, specific button presses… in careful order. Button-mashing will get you nowhere, as misses leave you vulnerable to attacks and ruin your chances at perfection / stage medals. As the game takes pains to state— you’d rather wait on a enemy to get closer than miss completely.

Fortunately, One Finger Death Punch has been lovely built from the ground up to make you feel completely in control. Forget overwhelming odds (200 vs. 1 in a blinding thunderstorm? Piece of cake.), multi-hit / patterned enemies, and all the chaos happening on the screen— you are ‘the one’, fighting a hundreds-strong Mr. Smith army, over and over with multiple weapons and collectible skill combinations. No heavy-handed storytelling by the Wachowskis getting in the way here, just you kicking ass in serious style.

One Finger Death Punch - Screen

Using an overworld map as a hub, you can take multiple paths, and play through a dozen-plus stage types and survival modes (including a No Luca No Survival). Whether it’s a timed fight, a one-hit defender round, boss battle, or a lightsaber duel, the game doesn’t tire or get boring. Every stage (of 250, mind you) is an epic, choreographed battle, with a sometimes razor-thin line between success and failure. Not that you’ll mind the challenge. With plenty of unique runs and special attacks to fill the level with smashed debris and the blood of your enemies (without a hint of slowdown), virtually no loading / instant restarts, the pace never slackens, or takes pity on you.

Never have I had as much fun with an XBLIG, or felt like a fictional ninja badass, as I have with One Finger Death Punch. The game is an instant classic. There’s not a mark to be said against it. It excels in every possible way, challenging the best of us while still remaining pick-up-and-play enough that literally anyone could start in on it, and subsequently get hopelessly addicted. Stop reading this and buy it immediately.

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77 thoughts on “REVIEW: One Finger Death Punch”

    1. Seriously, props to you for getting that far. Not sure how many others have done the same or even attempted it. Really disheartening to hear the game hasn’t sold that well for Silver Dollar, and even stranger to consider why not. It seemingly has all the right parts and the care in bringing them together, and I doubt lack of promotion is an issue. The market is so hard to figure out sometimes. Maybe the stick figures needed boobs (and I’m only half-joking with that suggestion).

  1. May I have your attention please hhmmmm (clearing throat). I want all of you to look at the pic, especially the kills on the third one (the first two I did it on blind, that’s why they are higher). There’s a new king in town, (Kudos to Belle, his challenge make the game more fun, hope he can beat this one) the wiser surpasses the youth this time.

    Thx to Tim for being our Don King (and also a non-payed English DVD set, its good for me to practice). So please, SOMEONE BEAT MY SCORE SO I CAN HAVE A REASON TO LIVE!!! Until then, there’s some Fanny Granny looking for a Great Adventure.

    1. Congratulations! Your score of 3011 kills is now -officially- recognized by theXBLIG as the current leader and champion stick ninja. You don’t get any money or awards, but seeing as how we are celebrating American Independance today, the first concentrated ball of pretty gunpowder I shoot off tonight, will be fired in your honor! I salute you, sir!

    2. Sorry to bust your day up bro but I’ve got to about 8400 on blind survival and i only had 3 powers at the time

  2. “Vaginal Metal”

    Sorry been 3 days since I typed that and needed to get it out of my system.

    1. Man, I’m pretty much ready to crown you champion of the world! :) Between you and Xlonix playing Blind Survival (and still getting 1500 kills), you’ve got us all beat by a wide margin. Nice!

    2. I was playing it 2, and he send me a message he was at 1800. You tell me, how A normal human being can have time to go all the way to the center of the controller, type a message and keep playing. I mean that will cost me at least two hits. What this kid got in his fingers!!!

      On my defence he must be younger, so, more stamina and endurance Oh well, second place is not so bad.

      Btw you plan on reviewing Dungeon Smash? Or is on hold? I mean 240 is for like a whole a combo!!

    3. Quick fingers or not, there’s always the pause button for writing messages :) Still impressive, the both of you. I’ll take third place for now, I guess.

      Not sure on Dungeon Smash just yet. I’ve got a few other games in line for reviews, so I’ll see how the week goes. The YouTube trailers make it look interesting, I must say.

    4. You just ruined my joke…
      I will download the demo in the afternoon and see then make a decition, still will wait a month or so before buying anything. The fun one geets depends on the weight of your pokets. Btw I got a Tweeter but it sucks, prefer going to the actual websites. Scrolling ten tweets telling the same thing while I find what De La Hoya tweet about Canelo is not my thing. Again, personal opinion.

  3. Here’s is the -DIRECT- link of a Demo of the PC Version for ppl that want to try it and see the differences. Have not tried it yet.

    EDIT 7/2: SEE NEW LINK BELOW.

    @Tim
    I dont know if it is illegal to post non-Xbox stuff, if yes, delete the comment.

    1. Nope, so long as it’s relevant and not spam of some sort, you’re good. Gives people an alternate avenue, if Xbox / XBLIG isn’t an option or their preferred platform.

    1. Mighty impressive score! Best I ever did was 1350-something. I need to get better on those bonus rounds between the regular waves, as that’s where I can pick up some serious ground. Nice work.

    2. I got no Gold, so no access to the leaderboard, this will be my target. Mine is 996 or something. Damn!! Im the lowest, and I write like 100 words per minute for a living, why my fingers are failing me!!

      Xblig is becoming an Xbox community, not only a reviewing site, I think thats good for the bussiness.

    3. Well today i got a NEW HIGH SCORE! ( 001,973,844 ) best score : ( 177,616 2191 ) ( kills : 2191 ) sorry i dont have a video to show becease my phone was low on battery

    4. Damn dude, you must have your seat between Zeus and Ron Jeremy, you are becoming a god!! 2191, well, lets see how masochist I really am and see if I can beat that, but I doubt it.

    5. I got a pro tip for you, if you are using a nunchaku or light sword NEVER, NEVER use your full lives on nunchaku or lightsword round in survival because. If your life is FULL enemies go at full speed towards you, and yes i have a very fast reaction!

    6. I did notice sometimes the enemies where getting “smarter” maybe that was. I just did 1500!! Maybe my fingers where getting tired. That damn name entry did not let me took a pic. I think you cant upload here anyway. Your two records are my goal, but oh well. I will rest it for today, too much over training is not good. And since I got this game I have not seen the sun.

    7. haha good work! break my record 1759 kills in survival i know u can!. But if you want you can add me on xbox360 so we can share high score :) my GT = ( Redmar Belle )

    8. Yeesh, 2191 and 1500 both are probably too high for me, at least without some more practice. I do well with the side-swapping enemies and the brawlers, but my reflexes aren’t in top form. That’s holding me back.

      I did see how the bonus rounds were sped up depending on your health, though even without full health, they speed up dramatically after you reach 80+ kills.

    9. @Redmar
      Thx! Is good to know that one of us have faith in me. I got the Silver Account so I dont know if I can add ppl, I think I can but cant send messages or something. Will check it out later and if it let me I will add you.

      @Tim
      I almost did not make it, I lost all hope, was about to die and then BANG!!! I got the power of the Monado and that kinda inspired me, lived long enought to get to the healing bonus rounds. I only got like 4 skills, I have to beat the game to get them all and set the best skills for me. Got way too hook with the survival (blind survival mind you, reach the 1500 there) will really like that Custom Soundtrack *wink *wink That really will set the mood more. And that Luca is a jerk, I have not seen a jerkiest character since Poky Minch from Earthbound.

    10. Blind survival!?! Wow, -you- are a god among men, then. I did pretty well the few times I played it, but that’s too complicated for me. I need the color indicators below them to reassure me. :)

      And ‘No Luca No’ was… not one of Silver Dollar’s better moments. I’ll just leave it at that.

    11. Lol, 500 is not so bad. Its just I REALLY LOVE THE GAME. I want to be the best I can at it. But, still a long way there.

  4. HELP ME!!!!! I can’t play anything else. I have to get a fix in before work everyday. After work I have to play! Before and after dinner I have to play. All my other games are getting jealous including 2 new games I just bought.

    I’m starting up a OFDP Anonymous group and anyone that wants to join please respond to this posting.

    Hi, my name is David and I’m addicted to OFDP!

    1. Is it just me or when he says Platinum metal it sounds like Vaginal metal? Ok…back to the game!

    2. ‘Vaginal Metal’ sounds like an alloy of the future that will need to be installed on female maintenance robots in order to keep people from doing things they shouldn’t be doing…

      I collected all 21 skills awhile back, so I have to be nearing the end. Never had much trouble in passing them before, but the ‘time trial’ levels this far into it are kicking my ass. Probably need to set new skills. Very -very- little room for error. Like no room, at all.

  5. I took your advice, Mr. Hurley, and immediately bought One Finger Death Punch. And now my life is a constant loop of nothing but punching people. I get nothing done any more, just punching.
    Thanks for that!

    1. See, who says violence doesn’t solve anything? It solves fruitful productivity, and saves you from other terrible fates, like re-watching V/H/S.

    2. Is V/H/S that bad?
      Also, 41 comments?
      I gotta try it now.
      Nice to see ya’ll again.
      Been on iOS playing a little gem called “kinetic Damage”.

    3. And ‘Welcome back!’ to you, sir.

      Yeah, there’s a lot of love for OFDP in the comments here, definitely up your alley, if you harbor aspirations to be a stick figure ninja.

      V/H/S is not terrible, but -I- wouldn’t watch it again. I’m not a huge fan of the ‘found footage’ horror genre to begin with, but, if you are interested in a hilarious review of that film and other sundries, check out averystrangeplace’s site (click his name). Worth the time. :)

    1. I could see that. Shame I don’t have one to test it with :( , but that’d be ideal for cutting down on the time moving between buttons.

  6. I had read some of the hype about the game, and even watched a trailer about gameplay yesterday, but it seemed only mildly intriguing. So I played the demo while at lunch today … and it hooked me. It appears to have all the requisites to develop a large following: cute visuals, ease of gameplay that ramps up in difficulty, quick levels, and just the right amount of quirkiness. It is amazing that no one thought of a game like this before! I’m not going to anoint it as the best XBLIG I’ve ever played, but it is certainly one of the most entertaining and addicting ones. Fantastic value for only 80 MSP, this game would easily be worth 5 times that, and potentially 10 times that, as an XBLA. Now if I can just stop screwing up and missing one time every round!

    1. I ranked it third, behind ‘Bleed’ and ‘Dead Pixels’. OFDP is the most fun I’ve had with an indie, though I still hold those two games in higher regard. Anywhere you rank it, it’s a great game.

      That ‘missing once’ problem is contagious; I have dozens of gold medals that were a split-second too slow for platinum. I actually did pretty good on some of the later levels, not to pat myself on the back or anything. The XBLA idea is curious to me, as I believe part of the reward for winning Dream.Build.Play (as One Finger Death Punch did) is consideration for getting an arcade release. Wonder what the story is there.

    2. I think you nailed it with “the most fun I’ve had with an indie”. This game is simply FUN. After slogging through the labors of The Last of Us and such, it is (stupidly) refreshing to play something that is thoughtless, reflexive silliness and pleasure. The medal mechanic reminds me of the Trials series, but without the agonizing frustration.

    3. Whoa, whoa, whoa. The Last of Us was a ‘slog’? That must be a typo, as I’m almost positive you meant, ‘The Last of Us is the -best- game of this console generation’. Funny how a few misses on the keyboard can spell out something completely different like that… :)

    4. No, it has so far – I’ve not nearly completed it – been a balance of fun and frustration (tipped to the good side by an incredible soundtrack, it must be noted) that hasn’t always been as much fun as I’d like it to be, so I’ll stick with slog, although saying that it is sometimes more work than fun may be a better description of it. What do I know, though? I think The Burbs is a top-10 film. ; ) And Carrie Fisher has NOTHING to do with that, I swear.

    5. “Pizza dude!!!!!!!” Anytime is a good time to quote Corey Feldman. And thanks for ruining platinum medals for me, David Loves Sandy … all I can hear inside my head is “vaginal metal” when I read it now.

    6. Nah, I’m just giving you a hard time. I will say The Last of Us’ story is a bit too obvious, being ‘The Road’ and ‘Children of Men’ mixed into one, but the presentation, the writing, the relationship between all the characters, and of course, between Joel and Ellie, turns it into a masterwork. I loved the combat too, having to be stingy with bullets / materials. It felt ‘perfect’ in playing it.

      We all have our own tastes / feelings / bias on things though. :) I do agree on The Burbs, as I’ve said before. Not in -my- Top 10, but certainly a cult classic. ‘Vaginal metal’, too.

  7. I have 2 more words about this game then I’ll be done with it.

    HAND CRAMPS!!!

    OK….glad I got that out…good thing there is a baseball game I can watch tonight instead of playing.

    1. Curios, I was twittering with the developers tonight and they said one of them uses one hand on the game (as I do as well) and the other uses 2. Are you a two finger ninja or a real ninja using just one?

    2. One Finger.. true ninja style and true to the game title. :)

      Ha. Putting a finger on both sides would probably just confuse the hell out of me, actually. Though I can see someone getting used to it, and it would no doubt improve reflexes / timing instead of constantly switching sides.

  8. I REALLY LOVE THIS GAME, is my favorite XBLI and one of my favorites games of all time. It maybe be stretch mark to say that for some ppl, but I play the games for the challenge, because Im a masochist and like to hurt myself (I beat all the stages of Bleed on VH) and also to have fun. If I want a “experience” I prefer read a book or watch TV Series (dont like Halo, Shadow Of The Collusus did not wow me, but games like Planescape Torment and Rainblood: Town Of Death did it), althought, they are some games with “experiences” that caught my attention like the Last Of Us (trying to take that game off my mind, sad to want something you cant have)oh, and thats my personal opinion, I respect all the other ones.

    I have not been hook with a game like this since Metal Gear Solid 3. As Einstein says “Imagination is more important than knowledge”. They might be a bit “immature” in the eyes of some, but something Silver Dollar dont lack is imagination. And in the end, I dont know what Im talking about because I only play one of their games, and I dont plan to play them, but One Finger is a gem. Now, this XBLIG online to play got me worried, I want to revisit this game in ten years and say to my imaginary girlfriend “this game being in my top is the reason Im wih you now”. Amazing game!! Best honor to Mr Smith I have seen so far.

    1. No ‘Shadow of the Colossus’ love? That’s another classic game that’s yet to be duplicated. I do agree on Bleed (Great! My personal ‘favorite’ XBLIG) and Halo (Good games, but overrated series) though.

      One Finger Death Punch is a fantastic game, easily the ‘most fun’ I’ve had playing an indie game, though, yeah, if you look at it in absolute terms, -nobody- will be able to play any of these old indie games in ten years if Microsoft keeps its policies unchanged. Of course, I’d suspect Silver Dollar will have the game on other platforms (PC, for instance), so there’ll always be a distributor. I’d also hope to see One Finger Death Punch 3 or 4 by that time. :)

    2. Well, maybe a little bit of love, amazing visuals, original concept, but, I dont know. I told you in the Aqua Kitty room there was something wrong with me, now you believe it lol.Good to hear, I hope they release a NODRM version and my laptop got enought testosterone for the game. I have seen 2d games that need like 3ghz, I MEAN WITH WHAT THESE INDIES GUYS MAKE THOSE GAMES!!! And se 3d games with 2ghz or less. ONDP 3? That will come after How To Take Off A Bra 7 after Silver Dollar story, but, Im very ,curious about their immature side (I mean we all got some that). Maybe will try the fart game out of curiosity, and give Silver more of my money.

    3. My hope is that Silver Dollar sees this game as a ‘better path forward’, though as I’ve said elsewhere, they’re free to do as they please. If you are interested in other games of theirs, I’d recommend ‘The Jump Hero’ for sure. A couple of others are decent, though the fart / dating games I could do without. To each his or her own. :)

    4. I wonder if XBLIG will have stayed in X One if it was surrounded by a non-fart reputation, or even the self publishing. Lets wait till Nintendo gets and indie game called Do Her Or Do Mii, maybe it will start to change their policies. Jump Hero… will sure try it, they really got talent, but after that I’m gonna keep your advice in mind, gotta stop wasting the value menu money (although it was good for the abs) and keep my gaming together. A lot of games to beat. For now lets just enjoy this masterpiece, as stories goes, behind a Silver gem comes a thousand farts afterwards.

    5. ‘Do Her or Do Mii’… congrats, that had me laughing for more than a few minutes. That, and ‘behind a Silver gem comes a thousand farts’.

      Elegantly put. I like it :)

    6. I’m like a late night talk show host; I’ll handle the monologue, I just need a joke writer. I’m much better at being funny on the fly. Trying to get laughs in a review or come up with something goofy (but at the same time relevant) for the article, I’m lacking.

      Plus, come on, it’s all in the visual. You have to imagine Silver Dollar Games coming to Nintendo HQ and saying ‘Here’s our latest game, Do Her or Do Mii’ (grainy video / girls, multiple choice quiz show dating game). I would PAY to be in that meeting. :)

    7. Lol thx, the compliment make me laugh. Btw I played the demo of Jump Hero, good visuals, nice control, liked the music, BUT, that character must be THE MOST POWERFUL CHARACTER OF ALL TIME!!!! I mean if you jump and get to close to a thing just press down, if you fall to far just use your wings and then double jump, no challenge at least in the demo. I prefer Bit Trip and Canabalt. Good game… but me feeling almighty, not like it. Also I read your review about Avatar Warfare and Murder Miners (the game make by the only company in XBLIG with more than a thousand employees, how many non-paying level designers that game have, but, they are having fun creating the levels, smart move for that company, you compare it to Halo ugh, but its looked interesting) so, how is the online community for those games? And the XBLIG online in general? Dont want to go Gold if its not worth it plus I will need like to pay more of my data plan, need more GB to play online, need to know is the money will worth it, and the 2 ppl I know dont know what XBLIG is.

    8. Bit.Trip is the better game, though I like The Jump Hero for being easy to pick up and it was a hell of a lot of fun when I was playing it.

      As for Murder Miners, yeah, how sweet of a deal is that? Build the foundation and give control over to the community, watch them build unlimited maps and modes for you, thus getting other players to buy the game and do the same. Smart thinking indeed. As fun as that game and Avatar Warfare may be, I’d only recommend them if you have Gold already. I wouldn’t say they’re worth the hassle you’d have to go through, and the communities for both are never guaranteed to be there the next day. Online games have more staying power, but there’s still plenty that don’t have the same amount of players they used to have. For XBLIG, I’d say single-player games still win out in the long run.

  9. I’ve said this before, I don’t normally buy a game after one trial but this game was such a blast that I did it on the day it came out. This game is so addicting in fact I can’t stop playing it. The last day of the sale (on Monday) I bought The Cave and Renegade Ops (two arcade titles) and with my leftover points I bought OFDP. Well, I haven’t even played The Cave once yet and only played Renegade Ops once but have played OFDP at least a dozen times I sat down to play games.

    You said it best in that Xbox needs to take note. This game could well have been sold for 10 times more on the arcade channel and still be well worth it.

    Oh, and I tell you I was so surprised when I saw it was a Silver Dollar Game. In fact I downloaded the demo and started it up and saw that during the boot of the game and was expecting disappointment. To my surprise I found one of the funnest, large, and most addicting games I have played in a very long time.

    There is not enough good words that can be said about this game. If you don’t have it get it. If you do then you are probably not reading this right now.

    1. A lot of us (I’ll put myself in the group, at least to start) wrote off Silver Dollar in the past, but I really came around to their ability to create good games while playing The Jump Hero (definitely look that game up if you have the time / extra points) by them, and Sins of the Flesh (you can see the resemblance to OFDP there). A lot of their other games, though, yeah, I could leave those far, far behind and never look back. To their credit, I guess they make the games they want to, even if those ‘games’ aren’t looked at favorably in the eyes of critics and the public.

      One Finger Death Punch is a rare title, though, something MS would be keen to look at when considering their next-gen Indie plans. Put some marketing behind it, extend a little help here or there, and it works out for all parties involved. Money is the bottom line, and there’s plenty to be earned by all if they work together.

      Oh, and I played the demo for The Cave when it came out, but held off on buying it. Heard it got boring / repetitive halfway through, so when you do get a chance to play it some, let me know if you think it’s worth another look. Not that I’ll be able to put OFDP aside either. :)

    2. I was hoping this one would live up to the hype (well, I was hyped anyway) after seeing it win the Dream Build Play award, and, by the looks of your review and the positive comments here, it seems it has. So that’s a definite buy for me!

    1. Congrats on getting the free game! This is a game you will enjoy very much. Easy to play, hard to master. My fave part is replaying levels trying to get through them after I died. I feel so satisfied and even yell out a tribal scream after I conquer that level after two or more tries.

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