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Super KO Boxing

For: Mobile

Get in the ring for some serious mobile pummelling action. Leopard-skin trunks optional

Product: Super KO Boxing | Developer: Glu Mobile | Publisher: Glu Mobile | Format: Mobile | Genre: Fighting, Sports | Players: 1 | Format: J2ME | File size: 362KB | Version: Europe
Super KO Boxing Mobile, thumbnail 1
There aren't many mobile boxing games, strangely. Maybe it's because mobile developers are a bunch of geeky wimps who are scared of physical violence. Maybe it's because there aren't any famous heavyweight boxers any more that could be attached to a mobile game. Or maybe it's because the sport of ducking, weaving, punching and getting-your-wife-to-hit-the-other-boxer-with-a-shoe defies translation to the confines of a mobile screen and keypad.

At least, until now. Because with Super KO Boxing, Glu Mobile has gone and done it, by jettisoning all pretence at realism in favour of cartoon graphics, simple controls, and the chance to hit a French mime artist in the face, hard, repeatedly. Genius.

So, you play blond bombshell the K.O. Kid, who has to take on a series of toon opponents, including Sake Bomb, Tiki Tam and Pierre, the mime artist we gleefully referred to earlier. Each opponent has their own fighting style and special moves, which you'll have to learn to beat them. And no, they don't involve biting your ear off, thankfully.

The controls are intuitive. You press '2' for a high punch, '5' for a low punch, and use '4' and '6' to dodge left and right (if you have a directional nubbin on your phone, this is much easier). '8' blocks, and '1' taunts your opponent, just to rub in how good you are. As you fight, you build up your 'super meter' – when full, by pressing '*' you unleash a haymaker of an uppercut.

It's worth getting knocked out to see the neat way you get back to your feet. Birds – what else? – fly round your head, and you have to hit the '5' key when the countdown numbers converge in the middle of the screen, once for every bird, to make it back to your feet.

Super KO Boxing's main appeal is in its sheer sense of fun. Many of the boxers will make you laugh out loud with their facial grimaces and cavorting about. It's good old-fashioned character design, in other words, which is sadly all too rare in the mobile world. And if it sounds a bit like ancient Nintendo game Punch-Out, well, that's because it's pretty much the same idea for mobile.

Meanwhile, the crucial thing is the fact that the action is smooth and slick. You're not thinking about what button to press: you're just intuitively feinting, blocking and punching. Mainly punching, mind. Though we should stress that this really isn't a button-basher game. You need to concentrate on your opponent's style and counter it, rather than just punching non-stop.

There are two modes to Super KO Boxing. Circuit mode is the core of the game, where you pit your wits against a succession of fighters. Once you beat them, they're unlocked to fight against in the Versus mode, which lets you pick individual bouts.

There's not a huge amount of depth, as such, to Super KO Boxing. Chances are you'll progress as far as you can in Circuit mode until you come up against a fighter who's too good for you, then relax into playing the odd Versus bout.

But in terms of pure fun and silliness, and a way to while away a happy train journey chuckling like a lunatic, this is a truly delightful mobile game. A smash hit, in other words.
Super KO Boxing
Reviewer photo
Stuart Dredge | 3 November 2006
The best fun you can have smashing people in the face without getting an ASBO. Marvellous stuff
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