Chillingo's boxing game stays on its feet.
We've already seen a couple of enjoyable boxing games on consoles, with Fight Night Round 4 and Punch-Out!! Now Chillingo brings the sweet science to iPhone with Touch KO, a fun app that provides several rounds of face pounding action.
With Touch KO, you keep an eye on your boxer, located in the center of the screen, while using your left and right thumbs to control their punches. Quick taps execute jabs, while drawing vertical and horizontal lines result in haymakers and body punches; combine them together and you'll send your opponent reeling. You can also dodge incoming punches by tilting your iPhone left and right.
During fights, we suggest keeping an eye on the energy meter. The green bar shows how much energy you have during each match, and it chips away with each successful punch. In addition, a red meter shows how much permanent damage you've taken. Absorb too much punishment, and you're susceptible to a knockdown.
The computer handles the rest of the boxer's movements, allowing you to focus on the guy across the ring. Some people may like this approach, but we would've preferred a touch system that lets us move around.
Touch KO comes with two modes: Quick Play and Career. The first lets you enter quick match-ups if you feel like pummeling someone for a few minutes. Career is where you build your own fighter from scratch and send him to boxing infamy. This comes with an excellent boxer creation feature that gives you the opportunity to customize your brawler with outfits and tattoos. From there, you step into the ring and face rival boxers. While enjoyable, there's no way to manually train your fighter; once again, the computer takes care of that.
As you progress, Touch KO lets you post your best fight times and other statistics online through leaderboards, so you can compare your boxing performance with others. Unfortunately, that's the extent of online interaction. There's no versus mode.
Chillingo did a solid job with the game's presentation. The boxers have a realistic appearance, bobbing and weaving just like the real deal and delivering plenty of painful punches. The replay camera is equally impressive, with a slow motion run-through of your winning punch.
On top of that, plenty of licensed hip-hop tunes made the cut. There's also a plethora of impressive punch noises, as well as cheering crowds and grunts and groans from the boxers.
No, it's not perfect, but Touch KO is a solid addition to your iPhone library. For three bucks, there's no reason to avoid it.
What's Hot: Intuitive punch controls, terrific fighter models and great replays, online leaderboards let you post your best times.
What's Not: No multiplayer options, you can't control fighter movement, training sessions are handled automatically.