When Aliens attack the city, young hero-in-training Koshi dives in to take on the captain of the extraterrestrial threat. Has be bitten off more than he can chew? You only have a split second to dodge attacks. One hit, and it’s all over.
Koshinuke Rider is a hyper-minimal game. The pixel art is great, but that’s nothing new. The controls are exceptionally simple, and the difficulty is through the roof. At first blush, I couldn’t see much to this title.
Damned if I can put the game down…
Float Like a Butterfly Or Get Stung
Koshi resembles a tinier version of Viewtiful Joe. He engages the alien captain in fisticuffs Little Mac style. The only catch is, he doesn’t throw any punches. Trembling between assaults, you must swipe in the right direction to avoid one of three types of punch.
You won’t like him when he’s angry.
Swipe left to avoid a left hook, and right to avoid a right hook. Every so often, the alien captain is going to let loose with a wild swing, which you must duck by swiping down. It’s essentially Rock Paper Scissors, only you get a split second to react to your opponents attack. It sounds incredibly simple. You know, simple…like the battle against Mike Tyson in the original Mike Tyson’s Punch Out! was simple. You have all of a split second to get in the right swipe, or it’s lights out for Koshi. Your original few tries are likely to make you wonder why you downloaded this game. For my top score, I managed to avoid 12 strikes, and that was after what must have been a hundred attempts.
Here Comes the Hook
Maybe it’s the mocking laugh of the alien captain when he clobbers Koshi. Maybe it’s the nagging suspicion that you almost dodged that last blow. Perhaps it’s the added insult of the fly-infested pile of dung next to your end of game score. Whatever the reason, this game is hard to stop playing. I’d repeatedly start my game anew, and the ridiculously high difficulty level made what could been a frustrating experience almost laughably fun. And if that isn’t enough to keep you at it, the online leaderboards are there for those not content with anything less than a top score.
The presentation is distinctly influenced by Japanese pop culture; the chiptunes and pixel art both jive with an 80’s Japanese arcade game feel. The announcer belting out “KOSHINUKE RAI-DAAAAA” as the game begins is icing on the cake.
Koshi won’t break any hearts…screens, on the other hand…
It’s pointless to slam in-game adverts nowadays, especially when it keeps the game free to play. However, some of the adds pop up mid-game, and are of the full-screen variety. In a title that requires split second maneuvers, they are not so much annoying as they game breaking. As often as once a minute, I’d X out of an ad to find poor Koshi splattered up against the screen. I’m hoping there’s some way that the ads can at least be restricted to top of screen banner types only.
There was more than on instance where I know I had made the the correct swipe, only to get my clock cleaned, regardless. Maybe there is a certain finesse required, or maybe some further control tweaks could be implemented. In either case, I was irked by the inconsistency.
Swipe This Game
It isn’t perfect, but Koshinuke Rider is an addictive little game. The brevity of a play session (even after playing a while, you’ll likely get knocked out with the first punch a few times) coupled with the promise of lasting just a couple of swings longer will have you frantically dragging your finger every which way. In my case, the only thing that brought my play to a halt was my Note II’s battery dying.