Divekick is a recent addition to the fighting game genre developed by Iron Galaxy Studios and released in late August. Everyone loves fighting games, right?
No. Not everyone. But why?
The fact of the matter is that for most fighting games the barrier to entry is complexity. Players must learn about each of the characters, how to perform special techniques, and master precision combinations on a six-button layout just to be able to compete.
Divekick throws all the rules out the door and introduces simple yet absurd gameplay. The madness begins with a simple premise: there are no movement controls, and there are only two buttons: Dive and Kick. Pressing Dive makes the player dive into the air, and pressing Kick while in the air causes the player to kick downward towards the opponent. Pressing the Kick button while on the ground causes the player to jump backward away from the opponent. These are the only ways to move around the arena. All divekicks are one hit kills. The first to five kills wins.
Not exactly what you would expect, huh?
What if I told you that it’s one of the most engrossing fighting games released in the past five years?
In a time when fighting games regularly introduce complexity, it’s refreshing to see a game that breaks fighting games down to the bare essentials; strategy. None of the 13 characters, each of whom dive and kick differently, are severely overpowered. There are no long combos to memorize, no comeback super techniques. With no complexity, all that’s left is mind games; the ability to fake out your opponent, the rush of emotion when a plan is executed and comes together flawlessly.
While Divekick is generally understood to be a parody of the fighting game genre, it also unearths concepts that have been buried under layers of complexity for too long and brings the genre back around full circle. Divekick cannot be recommended enough for any fighting game enthusiast willing to try something nice and silly..