PAX West 2023: Big Boy Boxing FIRST LOOK

Drawing inspiration from titles such as Punch Out!! and Cuphead, and animation from classics like Tom & Jerry, comes Big Boy Boxing upcoming game by Swedish indie game studio Soupmasters.

Their team is made up of just two people, but the game plays like it was made by a full team. It cannot be overstated just how liquid smooth the animations are thanks to Ludvig Thelberg, the animator of the pair.

Big Boy Boxing is releasing on Steam and Nintendo Switch. You can wishlist it here on Steam. The game is expected to release in early 2024.

Video Credit: Soupmasters

First Impressions

After a short and direct tutorial from the macho Coach “Thunder” Hank, you’re ready to take on your first opponent. The demo let the player choose which opponent to go up against next via a selection screen, but I’m curious to see if there will be an order in which you beat the opposing fighters in the final release. Maybe they’ll all be connected through some loose story, or the player will be forced to beat the fighters on a linear path scaling from least difficult to most difficult, unlocking fighters as they go.

I went up against Freezy Boy who transformed into Ice Cold Killer after his health bar was low. As I’m sure you can imagine, he froze a lot and left himself open for jabs.

Your character, who was colloquially referred to as “Thunder Kid,” (his coach is Coach “Thunder” Hank. See the connection?) is equipped with three special strikes and three health points. He has a rather neutral character design, which in my opinion, was a smart move since he’s translucent most of the time. The only sprites that remain opaque are the boxing gloves, so it’s easy to imagine yourself in Thunder’s shoes, or, gloves rather.

Final Thoughts

The Punch Out!! level of difficulty is definitely there. If you’ve been looking for a Punch Out!! styled game, go wishlist this title on Steam right now. After testing out the game for myself I was able to interview Martin Calander, one of the developers.

He said that the game initially started out as a Smash Bros. style game. After testing it out they realized that there were a lot of similar games on the market and decided to go with a Punch Out!! inspired route.

What was initially supposed to be a two month change ended up taking two years, but now they’re well on their way to a finished game.

He said that each opponent has three stages or forms that they take on through out the course of the fight.

Admittedly, I never saw what Freezy Boy’s final form was. I’m not the best at fighting games, but I could see myself picking up this title when it releases to get some practice in.

The art style is very inviting and lends itself to that over-the-top level of cartoonish slapstick comedy they were going for. This made the game very accessible to players who, perhaps, have never had a gaming experience similar to Punch Out!! Myself included.

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Featured Image: Soupmasters

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