Divekick, which started out as a purely independent Kickstarter success story, pokes fun at the aspects of the fighting genre that people both love and loathe. It competes well in the genre it trivializes, and it does so with both hands in its pockets.
The build I played at PAX East used a fight stick with two buttons slightly larger than the palms of my hands. That underscores the key ingredient to Divekick: it introduces an appropriate level of depth for a fighter that only uses two forms of input. Smacking one button down would tell my character to jump in the air, while the other had them hopping backwards. Combinations of these buttons resulted in jumping in the air and kicking downward at an angle, or activating a character-specific ability when the "kick meter" filled up. Successfully kicking my opponent just once in the cat-and-mouse fighter won a round, with the match going to the first character to win five rounds.
Instead of memorizing button combinations, the playing field is leveled for all combatants, as timing is everything in this game. I found myself adopting familiar fighting game strategies, attempting to lure my opponent in before nailing them with a quick hop and kick. Other times, I would close the gap between us with a high vertical jump and kick, a risky proposition given the amount of time available for my enemy to counter. Kicking my opponent in the head wasn't just satisfying, it was a tactic that carried over to the next round, as the player suffering the blow began the first four seconds of the round in a daze. The daze slowed their movements, giving me a clear, but not absolute advantage.