This is Portabliss, a column about downloadable games that can be played on the go.
Fist Face Fight is a simple, fast-paced tap-to-punch game in which you defend a heart from attacking ninjas. You act from an overhead perspective, keeping tabs on the heart at the bottom of the screen and directing a disembodied fist while ninjas and other hazards encroach from all sides.
By tapping around the screen, Fist Guy (as he shall be called from now on) will strike out at that spot in a straight line and rest. Anything in Fist Guy's path will be be punched, even the heart.
Defeating ninjas is the endgame, but sometimes doing that isn't as straightforward as it seems. Fist Face Fight game becomes less about tapping (see: punching) the ninjas as quickly as possible, and more about controlling their routes, adding a dash of panic to the entire experience.
A ninja or hazard's path is obvious the second they emerge on the screen because they move in a straight line; knocking them in a direction will change their trajectory. Only Fist Guy has the ability to move freely around the screen.
Some ninjas go down with one hit, but most take multiple hits. Knocking them away and evading bombs and knives, all while taking care not to accidentally punch the heart, makes Fist Face Fight a manic test of concentration.
The goal of any session is to protect the heart as long as possible, in an overall attempt to earn the next karate belt. New belts are earned after defeating enough ninjas, surviving a certain amount of time spent or breaking through score barriers. Dead ninjas drop coins which can also be used to purchase the next belt, much to the chagrin of Mr. Miyagi and fans of diligence everywhere.
Just three belts in the game becomes quite challenging, with the screen saturated in dangers. Thankfully, the brisk nature of each session ensures losing is never disheartening as punishment.
Fist Face Fight is a free download, available now on iOS and Android. Every battle takes place with the same essential parameters, but sessions vary greatly. That's why I keep coming back to punch a few more faces.