A modern take on the classic arcade arena shooter. Taking inspiration from an entire generation of action games, Iron Fisticle builds on classic titles like Gauntlet and Robotron while adding over 100 collectible items, an RPG style upgrade system and local multiplayer.
User reviews:
Overall:
Very Positive (165 reviews) - 90% of the 165 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Sep 16, 2014

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Reviews

“Iron Fisticle gets the gameplay right. The raw connection between you and your avatar, the movement speed, the responsiveness of the controls, the sound effects and the satisfying splatters of viscera every time your axe hits home.”
8/10 – Dealspwn

“Iron Fisticle is deep, challenging yet rewarding. And while retro-inspired, borrows many modern elements that makes it stand out from the pack: the beautiful art, the co-op, and the ways to improve your character. This this a labor of love worth delivering.”
4/5 – Saving Content

“Mix Gauntlet with Smash TV, add in a dash of Ghouls n Ghosts, and stir with a rogue-lite… Iron Fisticle is a game that offers tributes to a lot of classics.”
8/10 – Games Fiends

About This Game

Iron Fisticle is a challenging twin-stick shooter that requires reflexes, speed and quick thinking to master. It takes the classic arcade arena shooters of the mid 80s and drags them, axes flying, into the 21st century.

Inspired by truly old school arcade games right down to the (optional) scanlines themselves, Iron Fisticle is both a retro game and a reinvention of a classic genre, with multiple routes through the game, bonus stages, a large variety of weapons and enemies, clever boss fights and much more:

• Classic twin-stick arcade gameplay meets modern accessibility, with controller support, achievements and collectables; endless supply of quarters and blistered thumbs not required.

• Randomly generated dungeons keep the gameplay fresh and offer a new experience every play-through.

• Re-live multiplayer as it was designed to be, with simultaneous two player local co-op.

• Multiple stats upgrades and weapon pick-ups change the way you play and fight in each game, while roguelikes-style persistent character upgrades allow you to explore deeper after every death.

• Over 150 different items to collect ranging from score boosters to weapons and power-ups.

• A scoring system that encourages fast paced risk taking while encouraging experimentation and discovery - like all the best classic arcade games.

• Retro-styled, hand-drawn pixel art graphics running at 60 FPS for a fluid action experience, complemented by excellent chip-tune inspired music and audio effects from Andy Lemon

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8
    • Processor: Dual Core at 2Ghz and above
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Open GL 2.0 Compatible Card
    • Storage: 100 MB available space
Customer reviews
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Overall:
Very Positive (165 reviews)
Recently Posted
Shodfungus
5.3 hrs
Posted: July 15
Fun little game, the local co-op is more fun than the single player as they add more monsters which makes it a little more challenging. 10$ is a bit steep as there isn't a whole lot of content, but was worth the sale price
Helpful? Yes No Funny
EternaTea
5.3 hrs
Posted: July 15
Do you farm achievements? Most of the ones here are pretty easy to get through. Do you need a simple to understand, arcadey game to play with your kid brother when he won't leave you the hell alone? It's right here. Retro enthusiasts, looking to feel them old feels again? Right up your alley. Need something fun to play with your friends, when you're too baked to play anything else? Got ya covered.

More depth than I honestly expected, a bit short, but great replay value. Even if I never play it again (which I likely will), I'll never uninstall it. Just in case I do want to play it again.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Pwndeemer
9.2 hrs
Posted: July 6
A really nice combination of twin stick shooting and roguelike dungeon exploring. Addicting once you get the hang of it!
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Jan
15.9 hrs
Posted: June 24
A little Top Down Shooter. Poor retro style graphics, offset with a good mechanics. Few kinds of foes, but many items to get, with 5 skills to upgrade; all well explained in instructions and a ledger. The mapping only has 4 levels, each with a growing number of mini-maps of randomized rooms, intercalate with bonus side screens and shops of simple menus. The progresses of Skills and items are saved. The gameplay can be difficult, because requires a gamepad or both hands over keyboard; no support mouse. A challenging and charming game for a few hours of casual but intense fun. Buy with high discounts or in bundles.
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dipnlik
2.3 hrs
Posted: June 22
Smash TV gone medieval, with just the right amount of character progression. Highly recommended.
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Underwhelmed
4.6 hrs
Posted: June 21
Imagine Smash TV with a touch of Gauntlet, and you have Iron Fisticle.

The late 80's style pixel graphics are as endearing as the gameplay. If you hate pixel graphics, you probably also hate arcade style overhead shooters too.
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Morphy
4.9 hrs
Posted: May 31
A pretty fun top-down twin-stick shooter. Game gets easier upon replaying as you can collect permanent upgrades for your stats. As a similar twin-stick shooter, I personally prefer Ultratron to this but it is pretty good.
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Ryan Dorkoski
1.5 hrs
Posted: May 21
Cute little arcade-style twin-stick shooter we have here. Great for two player local co-op score attack, too. Some minor complexity with a few permanent upgrades, but it mostly sticks to the arcadey old-school shooter style.

Its fairly simple, but essentially you twin-stick shoot your way through various levels that are laid out on a randomly generated map of tiles. You collect various items for score. There are also upgrades and two rechargable/reloadable abilities (that I know of). It's plain-old good simple arcade fun. The graphics are a good fit for retro old-school, and so is the music.

If you are on the fence - you already know this is the kind of game for you. Mileage may vary, but there is definately a cult following and the potential to get tons of fun out of this title.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
victimsofretail
4.3 hrs
Posted: May 2
I am SO glad I got this game!! It has exceeded the expectations I had when buying it, giving a lot more fun than I thought it would. Even though I suck at playing this, it just doesn't matter...gameplay remings me of Geometry Wars 3, in that you move in four directions with one hand (using keyboard) and shoot in four directions with the other. Controls are smooth, lots of pickups to collect, and regardless of how badly I'm doing, it's a lot of fun nonetheless. Enthusiastic thumbs up!
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mwhym
11.4 hrs
Posted: April 12
I approached this game with caution. It sure looked like a variant of the original gauntlet (one of my favorite games of old) and I didn't want to be disappointed (as I was with the recent Gauntlet remake).

At a first glance the pixel graphics, resemble the original much more than its name sake, however the similarities don't end there as in many ways it does resemble it. Is it a worthy successor ? well I am not sure about that, its a nice try and I must say that with a little bit more work it could have been truly great. Don't get me wrong, it is a wonderful game and one that offers lots and lots of fun, but unfortunately it is a bit shallow. Each battle takes place in a single room stage, so there is no exploring with a horde of monsters on your heels and the variation of weapons and specials is a bit limited, especially after a few runs.

Boss fights are generally easy and you get the hang of each (of the few bosses - I think its four or five of them only) pretty easily.

There is a leveling system, accompanied by a skill set, which (especially in the beginning) is a nice novelty, but you go through it pretty quickly and actually will forget about it (for the most part) as you play more and more. You keep your level (along with certain skills you have bought) from one game to another, but there are also temp skills you acquire for each play-through only.

One very nice touch, is the global (score) ranking, so you can try to climb that ladder. Be warned though, to get to the upper levels of the rankings you will need to spend quite a bit of time and (for me at least) the game seems more geared towards casual and occasional play-throughs.

The control scheme is a bit complicated and i would not recommend it without a controller (twin stick is the best way to play it in my opinion). The game is generally undemanding in terms of specs and it run perfectly on my crappy laptop (even when I had forgotten to clean its vents causing it to overheat on almost every other game).

There is local coop also, but truth be told I did not get to try it, still it sounds like fun.

Would I recommend it ? Yes, absolutely, its great fun, just don't expect something more than what it really is. I will be keeping it installed on my pc for sure as it is a great go to for some casual fun.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
49 of 57 people (86%) found this review helpful
Recommended
7.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 20, 2014
Long before the likes of Geometry Wars or Waves, twin stick shooting gameplay has been reimagined countless times since the 80's first gave us classics like Robotron or Berzerk. Introducing the directional shooting and arena based challenges was the start of a new genre, and soon we saw deeper level progression in the form of dungeon crawlers like Gauntlet or SMASH T.V. Iron Fisticle seeks to bring modern twin-stick action and 80's arcade arena shooting into a classic RPG setting of medieval madness.

Iron Fisticle stays true to the classic formula with the classic 8-directional shooting we remember from the best of arcade classics while adding its own brand of modern flashiness through crisp and highly stylised pixel art provided by the ever talented Tikipod of Aqua Kitty fame. The game spices up the basic high-score arena shooting gameplay with a few elements of randomization and persistence giving roguelike depth to a generally simple arcade concept.

The dungeons are laid out in a grid starting you in one corner and the boss in the other, with layouts being randomized each playthrough. Defeating any given room leaves you faced with the decision of which direction to travel in, taking into consideration upgrades and powerups needed along the way to properly defeat the bullet-hell action of each of the four floor bosses. Different routes will provide you with either a shop for upgrades or a platforming minigame for earning coins, and sufficently powering up your character along the way is vital before facing any of the floors bosses.

Even though the game stays mostly true to the shoot-'em-up roots of SMASH T.V. it includes the addictive properties of an RPG or roguelike. You also occasionally come across permanent upgrades that carry over on consecutive playthroughs, which raise any particular stat and is where the persistence comes from. These are very valuable, making future trips into the dungeon much more manageable and high scores more obtainable for diligent explorers who are keen to find and collect a good amount of upgrades.

Aside from the stat modifying upgrades you find are weapons you can gain from leveling up, and the selection is impressive. From walls of throwing daggers, streams of blue flamethrowers, to rows of area effecting bombs, there's plenty reason to keep playing and discover all of the devastating ways you can end your foes and rush through the levels even faster than before. Despite having beat the game, I still find new tools to play around with on each playthrough that make me re-evaluate how I could tackle it again.

Iron Fisticle is retro done right and a dream come true for score chasers. The adrenaline gives you an arcade high as you make a mad dash around each map collecting the pixelated food that drops to keep your multiplier going and test your skill against the world on the leaderboards. Even though a single playthrough can be experienced in one sitting, its the kind of game you'll want to visit everyday just to see how much better you can do the same way many of us revisit our favorite arcade classics.

With a solid brand of arcadey twin-stick chaos chock-full of addictive RPG properties that push you towards multiple playthroughs, excellent couch co-op, a heavy and groovy chiptune soundtrack complimenting crisp and attractive pixel art visuals all rolled into one package Iron Fisticle is one nostalgic experience that should not be passed up.
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26 of 28 people (93%) found this review helpful
Recommended
21.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 20, 2015
This a fun little filler of game that takes place in dungeon with connecting rooms. Your job is simply to kill all the mobs in the room and then grab the key to exit to another room. You keep doing this until you reach the boss, which, after beating, will grant you access to the next floor. There are four floors in this game, and runs can take you anywhere from a few minutes to a half hour, so it's great to pick up and play when you want something quick and light.

There are bonus levels and shops along the way to upgrade your stats such as speed, damage, rate of fire, health, and other goodies. If you save your money, you can buy permanent stats that will help you with future runs, which is nice since you lose everything when you die. The neat thing is you find yourself progressing fast enough, so you don't feel like it's a long grind.

Overall this is a simple game with decent replayability and just enough depth to make it enjoyable. It's perfect for me because I like to play a few quick rounds and then come back later. I certainly recommended this game.
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33 of 41 people (80%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 16, 2014
Iron Fisticle is a great little twin stick shooter. Fairly challenging and so many things to collect in the form of random drops, persistant upgrades for future runs, upgrades for current run. All the collectibles give scores based on rarity it seems, and yes this game is all about the hi-scores. It's not a terribly long game, and hopefully the devs see some success and add a little more in the form of a New Game + or a seperate dungeon.

The only thing I have found so far that disspoints (for twin stick junkies at least) is the lack of online coop. But that aside, I can only praise this strangely named game.

Tl:Dr

Looking for a rogue-lite twin stick rpg shooter? This is the one you want.
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27 of 32 people (84%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 18, 2014
Time played: 5.0 hours
Campaign cleared, no high-scoring effort, only 1 player

Decent grindcade twin stick shooter. Other than that, no big surprises here, either good or bad.
Gets difficult but doesn't get frustrating. I've had some good arcade shooter time with it.

Alternatives
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20 of 24 people (83%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 21, 2014
Genre - Top down Fantasy arena shooter
The game reminds me of a cross between Gauntlet (Dungeon Shooting) and Rogue Legacy (Persistent Upgrades). You play through different rooms across a map and can pick up power ups to defeat the different monsters. At the end of each of the levels you fight a boss. You will level up as you play more allowing you to develop your skills and get more powerful and varied items throughout the game randomly dropped from chests. If you save up you can also get a permanent gold upgrade (definately worth doing). There are also side scrolling bonus platform levels to get additional coins, a nice addition. Currently I have finished the first two levels but keep going back through from the first so I can get more gold upgrades and a better overall score. You can play local co-op but I quite enjoy this single player. I assume the game will be fairly short as after nearly 3 hours I have reached the last level, but I will take my time with it farming upgrades. I got a good deal on this game so I got about 1/3 off, but I still think it is worth the asking price as it is just so darn fun.
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18 of 25 people (72%) found this review helpful
Recommended
8.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 16, 2014
As a life-long devotee of twin-stick shooters, Iron Fisticle had me sold from the first mention of Robotron in the description. But whereas that game is a fast paced quarter-eater, here the pace is slower and more strategic, as well as featuring RPG-like elements such as equipment upgrades, shops and item collection. So perhaps it's more like The Binding of Isaac. Either way, it's a nice looking game with great lighting effects that works well with a controller and has a well-implemented leaderboard and achievement system, adding extra layers of addiction. A great buy for under 10 bucks.
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12 of 15 people (80%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 29, 2015
As many of the other reviews have stated, Iron Fisticle is similar to classic arcade games such as Robotron and Smash TV.

This is a twin-stick shooter.
You go in a room.
You kill everything.
You move onto the next.

In a number of ways, this game is designed to follow Smash TV's template. Your throwing axe isn't particularly good, so you have to take every chance to get hold of the good (but temporary) weapons. This changes things from merely being about slaughter to carving a path to the next weapon, all just to capture those precious seconds of relative safety. In terms of aesthetics and mechanics, Iron Fisticle is quite appealing. The graphics are nice and clean, resembling something from the Toaplan age. The controls are perfectly solid, and the hit-box is suitable for what needs to be done. This makes for an easy game to just pick up, play, and enjoy.

This game certainly isn't as difficult as Smash TV. As the store description goes, you can level-up to boost your health, abilities, and unlock new & items and weapons. Unlike seemingly every other rogue-like on Steam, these level-ups are permanent. You're free to purchase stat upgrades, so you'll start the next game with a nice boost. HP-restoring hearts are very prevalent as well. If you're particularly adept at the platforming bonus rounds, you can grab a full-healing before your next stage. Is it all really necessary? Yes and no.

In standard rogue-like fashion, merely beating the game isn't enough. Sure you might have defeated some great evil and saved the legendary turnip or radish or whatever the hell it is. However, when you've accomplished your task, you get kicked back to the beginning. Everything is a little more difficult now, and your luck will run out eventually. Now here's where things get interesting. Aside from Smash TV, Iron Fisticle also takes ideas from Bubble Bobble.

Within each stage, you'll find the silver weapon-holding chests, but you'll also collect a myriad of items that award points. Zombies drop food, which can award up to 800 points each. There are also special items, that are found in gold chests (one per stage). Sometimes the right special item can make a huge difference, and so can finding the right weapons. This adds a slight luck factor to the whole affair. Your dodging skills might be adept, but weapons are what keep you from getting cornered and overwhelmed. There is a dash move, which is pretty useful. However, zombies eventually roll extremely deep, and you could end up dashing into a crowd.

So for most players, beating the game isn't much trouble, but going for those pesky leaderboard spots will cause headaches. Theoretically you could beat the game an innumerable amount of times without dying, but you're always one streak of bad luck away from death. If you want the top score, you'll have to play for a several hours straight. This can get pretty dull, since you'll be so strong the first 30 minutes or so won't pose any threat. Last I checked, the top-score was around 8 million, that's at least 8 play-throughs in a row. Mercifully, the challenge mode is only four stages, though luck still plays a slight factor due to food-drops and other potential bonus points (and using spare iron fists to milk the "hurry-up" golems). There's also playing for the shortest time, which has some merit as well.

Whatever the case, Iron Fisticle's long-term replay value isn't very high. Once you hit max level (which doesn't take very long) there aren't many incentives to play the game. The normal mode takes too long to become interesting, and there's a little too much randomness to make playing for score very compelling in the challenge mode. Even with that in mind, I still give this game a recommendation. It is fun, well-constructed, and does an admirable job of blending the design philosophies of multiple classic arcade games.
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23 of 36 people (64%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 18, 2014
BIG MONEY
BIG PRIZES
I LOVE IT
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34 of 59 people (58%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 20, 2014
Really Really short. Like *really* short. Dunno how long it took me, but I've completed it twice. Remaining achievements are boring 100% type achievements.

It's a fun twinstick shooter, but with very little content. Bosses are very similar, and are always the same.

I'm actually shocked this isn't like a demo, an alpha or early access.
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
Recommended
11.4 hrs on record
Posted: April 12
I approached this game with caution. It sure looked like a variant of the original gauntlet (one of my favorite games of old) and I didn't want to be disappointed (as I was with the recent Gauntlet remake).

At a first glance the pixel graphics, resemble the original much more than its name sake, however the similarities don't end there as in many ways it does resemble it. Is it a worthy successor ? well I am not sure about that, its a nice try and I must say that with a little bit more work it could have been truly great. Don't get me wrong, it is a wonderful game and one that offers lots and lots of fun, but unfortunately it is a bit shallow. Each battle takes place in a single room stage, so there is no exploring with a horde of monsters on your heels and the variation of weapons and specials is a bit limited, especially after a few runs.

Boss fights are generally easy and you get the hang of each (of the few bosses - I think its four or five of them only) pretty easily.

There is a leveling system, accompanied by a skill set, which (especially in the beginning) is a nice novelty, but you go through it pretty quickly and actually will forget about it (for the most part) as you play more and more. You keep your level (along with certain skills you have bought) from one game to another, but there are also temp skills you acquire for each play-through only.

One very nice touch, is the global (score) ranking, so you can try to climb that ladder. Be warned though, to get to the upper levels of the rankings you will need to spend quite a bit of time and (for me at least) the game seems more geared towards casual and occasional play-throughs.

The control scheme is a bit complicated and i would not recommend it without a controller (twin stick is the best way to play it in my opinion). The game is generally undemanding in terms of specs and it run perfectly on my crappy laptop (even when I had forgotten to clean its vents causing it to overheat on almost every other game).

There is local coop also, but truth be told I did not get to try it, still it sounds like fun.

Would I recommend it ? Yes, absolutely, its great fun, just don't expect something more than what it really is. I will be keeping it installed on my pc for sure as it is a great go to for some casual fun.
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