Our complete strategy guide to Punch Club for iPhone/iPad will help you to build up your fighter into the ultimate warrior, as well as pointing out hidden secrets and quick-win tips for beating the leagues and unlocking the best skills.
Punch Club is at its heart a simple grinder, but managing your money and time while climbing the fighting leagues can be a challenging prospect – and possibly either fun or frustrating, depending on your strategy.
Punch Club: The Basics
Tip one: Your main stats
In the top left corner you’ll find your health, hunger, happiness and energy meters. You’ll need to keep a close eye on these as they’re incredibly important for training, working and fighting.
Health: This is vital when it comes to fighting. If your health is below maximum, that will directly impact how many hit points you have going into each battle. Your health takes a knock after every bout, so make sure you get some rest before your next sparring session to bring it back up again.
Hunger: If this reaches zero, you won’t be able to work or train. Stock up on meat at the local convenience store to fill up the hunger meter – it’ll take a couple of meals to boost it back up to max from empty. Note that hunger has no apparent effect on your fighting abilities.
Happiness: When your happiness dips below the halfway point, any training you do will be less effective. Thankfully you get a happiness boost every time you win a fight, which should keep you topped up most of the time. However, happiness will also drop when you work hard or lose a bout, in which case you can boost it back up by tapping on the sofa back at your house to chill out and get a mental health boost. Remember, you only need to get this above the halfway mark to make a difference.
Energy: Like your Hunger levels, you won’t be able to work or train if your energy levels hit rock bottom. Boost it by sleeping, or with a few energy drinks if you have no time to waste and plenty of cash in the bank. Note that if you get your resource management in check, you should never have to rely on energy drinks.
Tip two: Explore the map
First off, it’s important to explore Punch Club’s world and familiarise yourself with all of the different locations and what they have to offer. You won’t be able to go many places at first, but after the first five minutes the map will start to open up a bit.
Read next: Best iPhone games of 2015
Read next: How to legally download free iOS games
Your home is a key location for boosting all of your main stats, as well as training to improve your fighting stats (Strength, Agility and Stamina). You can train up your fighter in your garage using whatever equipment you’ve bought from the Sporting Goods Store, get some well deserved rest by tapping your makeshift bed (which boosts your Energy and Health rating but also lowers your Hunger rating) and eat some food by tapping your fridge, to boost your Hunger rating back up. There’s also a TV to kick back with, which boosts your happiness rating if needed.
If you’re ever low on cash and desperately need food, don’t forget to head to Mick’s place. He’ll sort you out with a free meal that boosts your Hunger meter by half.
The Convenience Store is your one-stop shop for food. Stock up on steaks every chance you get, you’ll burn through them quick when training.
You can spar at the local gym, which is an easy way of earning some points to spend on your skill trees. However, this costs a bit of cash, so you’ll want to befriend Roy as soon as he approaches you (more on this in the ‘story progression’ section). You can then spar for free, to save valuable cash.
The building site and pizza joint are your main sources of income at the start of the game, a way to quickly top up between matches. Don’t worry, you’ll soon move onto bigger and better things.
Finally, the Sporting Goods Store is the place to go for equipment to build up your gym. You only have four items to choose from and which ones are best for you will depend on your chosen skill specialty. See below for more info.
Punch Club: Successful fighter skills and stats
The most vital thing to realise early on is that you can’t waste your time trying to upgrade all three fighting stats (strength, agility and stamina). Not only is there not enough time, but you won’t be able to fully unlock more than one skill tree without insane amounts of grinding. And remember, a jack of all trades is a master of none.
Tip one: Pick a specialty
After you fully unlock Punch Club’s basic skill tree, which gives you basic moves and general skills, you’ll need to choose a specialty. The three options are:
Way of the bear: Imagine Ivan Dravo. With this route you rely on big, powerful attacks, while soaking up damage like a tank. The core skill to build up is strength, with a bit of stamina on the side.
Way of the turtle: Defense is the key here. You can block with the best, soak up the odd bit of punishment and counter-attack to take your opponent off-guard. Stamina is the core skill, followed by strength.
Way of the tiger: You’re a fleet-footed fighter who can dance and dodge away from danger, striking with light attacks to wear down your opponent. Agility is the core skill, followed by stamina to keep energy levels up.
Personally I chose the Way of the tiger, which I found an easy route for progressing through the story and winning the various leagues/competitions. Most enemies will rarely land a solid blow and if you unlock the Backlash skill in the way of the tiger tree, you’ll reflect a quarter of their damage back at them with each successful block.
After 100 fights with this strategy, I’d lost just 8 – and none of those losses were an arse kicking.
Tip two: Build up your gym and train well
Which route you decide to pursue will determine which gym equipment you need to buy from the Sporting Goods Store. The old bench boosts your strength, the small punching bag is for your agility and the treadmill boosts your stamina. You also have the wing chun, which gives you half as much agility as the small punching bag, while also topping up your strength and stamina.
My personal strategy involved buying the small punching bag, treadmill and wing chun. Each session, I would hit the small punching bag until my fighter got bored, then I’d attack the wing chun. This ensures my agility was maxed out, while also helping to boost my strength and stamina a little. If I had any energy and time left, I would then hit the treadmill to bump up my stamina.
Make sure you train at least every two to three days, or your stats will quickly diminish. You can also unlock skills which prevent your stats from dropping below a certain level, which comes in handy early on when time management can be tough.
Tip three: Get involved with the league fights early on
As soon as you can, get fighting in the Rookie League. You might lose the odd battle, but each fight gives you vital points to spend in the skills trees and a victory nets you cash and happiness. Between each fight, train as hard as you can and occasionally head to the building site to top up your funds if needed.
Punch Club: Story progression
Tip one: Beat the thugs
When you start the game, you’ll be attacked by annoying thugs when travelling about the map. They’re basically pushovers, so don’t bother paying up your hard-earned cash or legging it.
Beat enough of them down and you’ll be introduced to their boss, the wonderfully-monikered Big Bobo. He’ll sort you out with an easy protection racket gig, earning £100 every three days with no effort required. Just remember to head back each time to earn more cash.
Eventually you’ll be introduced to the Don, who can throw even more cash your way – once you beat the Rookie League and earn your license.
Tip two: Pepperoni perfection
It’s worth delivering some pizzas to open up the ‘special pizza’ mission (which usually take about five or six complete deliveries). Ask Casey the owner about his spiced pizza and you’ll be asked (eventually) to deliver a special order to the sewers.
Down here, you’ll have to defeat a foe based on a certain popular comic and cartoon series. Defeat him and you’ll get some much-needed skill points. You can repeat this three more times, but be sure to leave it a little while between each fight and train up – the opponents get very tough, very quickly.
Tip three: BFFs and a special lady
When you start to advance in the Rookie League, a friendly chap called Roy will try to befriend you. Accept and you can visit his house, where he’ll promptly take advantage by demanding that you fix up his knackered old car. The cad.
Accept, and then bash away at his engine for a little while before attempting to speak with him again. He’ll tell you to chill with him, so take a seat and drink beer until he says something about how great it tastes. Then you can spar with him (which gives you skill points) or train with him (which helps to boost your stats even faster).
Unfortunately you’ll have to repeat this rigmarole every time you wish to spar or train, but Roy does also introduce you to his sister and allows you to woo her as much as you like, which involves finding five flowers. Here’s a hint: the first is right there on Roy’s garden. Cheeky.
Tip four: Hard of hearing
At one point you’ll have to sort out a noise pollution issue in the trailer park, asking Big Bobo to turn down his stereo. The problem is, he’s a little deaf and needs a new hearing aid first. Where can you find the hearing aid? Well, luckily the owner of the Sporting Goods Store happens to have a spare one, which he’ll give to you for free. How lovely.
Read next: Our Punch Club review