Enslaved and DmC studio Ninja Theory made its mobile debut today with Fightback, a free-to-play brawler that's out now on the App Store. Last we heard, an Android version was also in the works, but no sign of it on Google Play just yet.
I took Fightback for a quick spin on my iPhone 5 this morning, and from what I played it's essentially a Die Hard-em-up. You play as a Van Damme-like muscle man, slick-haired with sunglasses to boot, and your aim in each mission is to beat up every last enemy in your path. When you're done, the hero punches a lift button, or walks up the stairs with a lingering look at the fallen bodies left in his wake. While it's not as (lovingly) mocking as Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, its cheesy 1980s roots are more than evident. Also, no surprises that, being a Ninja Theory game, it's great to look at too.
While it looks like a typical 2D beat-em-up, you don't really control your character's left-to-right movement in Fightback. Instead, the hero automatically moves from fight to fight; a typical level might see you take on two enemies at the start, and once you defeat them your character walks forwards into another fight with four more enemies, and so on and so forth. Player input, then, is limited to the fighting, with quick taps and directional swipes allowing you to punch, kick, and shoot your enemies down. As you progress along, you can use the in-game cash and gold you earn to upgrade your stats, buy protective vests, a whole assortment of meaty firearms, and some cosmetic tattoos.
Like some other free-to-play games, Fightback employs a stamina meter that drains one segment each time you play a mission, but refills gradually over time - from what I could see, it refilled at a rate of six minutes per segment. You can use in-game gold to refill the meter in full, and in my brief playthrough I was able to get more gold by leveling up. Of course, another way to get gold or in-game cash is by purchasing them using real-life money.
That said, publisher Chillingo notes the game doesn't feature any compulsory payments, and as ever you can choose to disable in-app purchases in the settings of your iDevice.