GDC '09: First look at Touch KO on iPhone

Mama's gonna knock you out

GDC '09: First look at Touch KO on iPhone
| Touch KO

There's yet to be a boxing game to knock out realistic gameplay on iPhone, which pumps up Chillingo for the release of Touch KO all the more. Cartoon styling and arcade throws are replaced with gesture-driven punches and fully customisable 3D pugilists in this serious brawler.

It's developed by duo Adam and Matt Mechtley, and we got a first look at the game during Game Developers Conference.

Immediately clear is the game's attempt to portrayal the realism of boxing. Smooth animations accompany the 3D boxers for a more serious take on the sport. That approach extends to a full single player Career mode, joined with a Quick Play mode for jumping into a fast bout.

Starting you off as a newcomer, Career mode has you fighting your way through the ranks to become a world-class boxer. You begin training in a ratty gym, gaining notoriety until you land the prize fight in a massive arena. Of course, the competition grows increasingly aggressive with each new fight, testing the limits of your fingers as much as your character's digital fists.

Jabs and hooks are pulled off with gestures traced out on the screen with your finger. Naturally, drawing various shapes with your finger enables you to execute a wide range of moves including blocks and dodges.

Customisation will be a hallmark of Touch KO, allowing you to personalise your pugilist in every way. Beyond the ability to change the style and colour of his shorts, headgear, and mitts, you can also tweak his physical appearance.

3D manipulation of facial features and gait are accompanied by a curious tattoo editor. (After all, no true boxing simulation would be complete with out the rough and tumble style of inked competitors.)

Although it's perfectly designed for it, Touch KO won't be launching with head-to-head play. An update is planned to introduce local wireless play at a later date, but for the game's April launch it's solo play only.

Hopefully Career mode packs enough of a punch to tide things over from the mid-April release to the first update.

Tracy Erickson
Tracy Erickson
Manning our editorial outpost in America, Tracy comes with years of expertise at mashing a keyboard. When he's not out painting the town red, he jets across the home of the brave, covering press events under the Pocket Gamer banner.