What would you rather go up against: one hundred duck-sized horses or one horse-sized duck? In all fairness, this isn’t really a predicament that any human being should ever be facing in his or her lifetime, or any lifetime for that matter. Both scenarios sound pretty taxing, and putting aside the fact that neither eventuality is a scientific possibility, it sounds like a predicament that was dreamed up by a group of university arts students after a little too much of the “herbal remedies”; it’s either that or the idea is the product of one man’s foray into the world of unreasonably large doses of lysergic acid diethylamide (that’s LSD to you and me) or some other hallucinogenic substances. One doesn’t need to lose control of their perceptive faculties to find themselves in the aforementioned scenarios however, since Super Duck Punch is on hand to ensure that you get the opportunity to try your hand at both tasks. Fighting games sure have changed since the good old days of Street Fighter in that apparently fights no longer need to be between two consenting humans, but what do I know: I just punched a horse-sized duck in the face, and I couldn’t be more pleased about it.
When is it OK to punch an animal? Well, from the moment you’re confronted with 50 hamster-sized hippos of course, and a variety of other absurd animal imaginings that form part of Super Duck Punch’s gameplay and general premise. The game is a solid beat-em-up at its core with elements of upgrade and lashing of ridiculousness. Your only task is to face off against a variety of different animals of unexpected size, with a choice being presented to you at the beginning of each round as to which you would rather face. Never did I imagine I would be running through the logistics of fighting either fify hamster-sized hippos or one hippo-sized hamster, or a choice between a hydra with giraffe heads or a giraffe with a single hydra head. These insane notions form the backbone of the hilarity in Super Duck Punch, and smashing a series of creatures in the face for funsies has never been so, well, fun.
The game plays precisely like any beat-em-up you are ever likely to have experienced. Use the Z, X, and C buttons to jab, uppercut, and kick respectively, and the directional arrows to move your old-fashioned fighter around. Combinations of moves can be achieved which are rewarded with points multipliers, and bear in mind the relative merits of each move: jabs are quicker than uppercuts yet weaker, while kicks are slower but more powerful. Fighting against your foes yields cash which can be spent on upgrading your fighter’s attack, health ,and revive bonuses, making him more powerful with each round that passes.
Super Duck Punch isn’t the best flash-based beat-em-up I’ve ever played, but it scores points for originality and sheer madness in its selection of creatures that you must fight, as well as winning me over with its light-hearted and humorous outlook on violence-based fun (it puts straight-laced games like Side Ring Knockout to shame). The graphics are stylish and well beyond the bog-standard flash aesthetic that plagues so many games. Bonus content and a survival mode is restricted to the Kongregate version (they also happen to be the creators), but who really cares about that when you’re boxing a giant duck’s face into oblivion? Not me, that’s for sure, now watch this uppercut.