Pocket Rumble is small in size but big in fun – Review

Since, I used to play fighting games a lot when I was younger, but don’t really play them anymore, I needed something that’d be quite accessible to beginners when I picked a fighting game for our latest podcast episode.

This little fighting game, inspired by genre classics, is an energetic, colourful and easy-to-pick-up affair that should satisfy both casual and hardcore fans of the genre, despite still being in early access.

Pros

  • Beginner-friendly
  • Depth of strategy for more advanced gamers
  • Fun aesthetics

Cons

  • Small cast of fighters
  • AI could use some work

Using a simple two-button system, each character has a small number of basic attacks (punches and kicks), that can be combined, as well as with directional buttons to perform more complicated attacks.

This ensures there’s a good variety of moves for each fighter to perform, but there are no complex inputs for beginners or more casual fight game fans to have to spend hours learning and memorising.

That said, if you’re a hardcore fighting game fan, there’s still a level of strategic play involved in this game, with blocks and counter moves that should satisfy you too, while ensuring no huge competitive advantage

What this amounts to is a fighting game that pretty much anyone can pick up and be reasonably good at, making for competitive and fun sessions with your friends.

While Pocket Rumble is best suited to competitive play with your friends or with others, there is a single-player arcade function (reminiscent of Tekken and Mortal Kombat), that functions as a great way to try out all of the characters and learn their different moves in a competitive environment.

The roster of characters is nice and varied, with each one having a different look and move set, but it’s a bit limited.

Also, when fighting the AI in arcade mode, you can be on the receiving end of an enemy that performs the same attack over and over again, so some improvements to the AI would be good – not that the AI is super important in a fighting game that you should be playing with your friends.

The aesthetics are great and both the movements of the characters and the special attack animations are smooth and fun. The chiptune soundtrack fits perfectly, but it’s a fighting game, so you probably won’t notice it all that much, which is a shame – so make sure you take a moment to appreciate it.

The Verdict

While the game does suffer from some understandable limitations, you’ll barely notice them because the positives hugely outweigh the negatives. Whether you’re casual or a hardcore fighting game fan you’re looking for some competitive fighting action against your friends, you could do far worse than check out Pocket Rumble.

Pocket Rumble was developed Cardboard Robot Games and is available on PC and Switch.

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