Review: One Strike

Certain video games need a lot of explanation, others explain their premise in the game title alone. One Strike is definitely the latter. A pixel art Japanese-themed fighting game where its all one-hit kills.

You can choose one of six fighters and as is the standard in the genre they all have their own skills and disadvantages. They also have their own unique weapons which are derived from historic Chinese or Japanese weaponry. For instance, Hangaku has a Kusarigama - essentially an axe on a chain - that allows you to attack from a distance but she has no real defense. Thankfully the weapons aren’t just for display and affect the play style. Each match is short, allowing you to try out the different fighters and find your favourite.

One Strike

All in all there’s currently 6 fighters but developer Retro Reactor is planning to add more fighters (and weapons) and has asked for fans to pick their preference from one of eight traditional Chinese and Japanese weapons on either Twitter or Facebook. The fighters so far provide enough balance that it offers enough variation even with the small cast of characters, but undoubtedly the promised additional characters will add to and refresh the game.

If you can’t pick which character to try out Team Duel will allow you to select a team of 3 fighters and face against a series of teams. If you can beat all 3 opponents before they beat you then you will progress, but you can’t change your fighters as you go so pick wisely!

For players looking to get better with their fighters there is Arcade mode, which gives you five lives to use. There’s also tournament mode for up to 8 players (computer or human), allowing you to build up your skills against a variety of fighters. The Only Life mode will see you face off against the other five in order to become the best.

The game controls fit into its simple-but-focused ethos. You attack with A and defend with B and can dash with the shoulder buttons. The game really does its most to strip away the complexities of other fighting games and provide a distilled experience, right down to the single-screen nature.

One Strike

The background pixel art particularly stands out, showcasing a depth and level of detail that you wouldn’t normally expect from a pixel game. The characters are simpler during the match, with a thick white border helping them to stand out against the background (even if they look almost like a sticker), but the player selection screen shows some really detailed artwork.

One Strike’s music, much like its visuals (and even storyline), harken back to a bygone era. It’s chiptune soundscape is blended with traditional Japanese instruments, providing a subtle but impressive mix of aesthetic and theme.

At first glance you could argue there’s not much in One Strike but a lot lies below the surface. The characters work well together and their unique weapons provide a variety that you may think wouldn’t be possible in a simple two-button fighting game. The cheap price point (under £5/€5) also mean its easily an impulse purchase. If you like fighting games, particularly more focused ones, or want another game to add to your multiplayer list it is one worth considering.

N-Europe Final Verdict

An approachable fighting game with a clever consistency to its theme. It may not keep you occupied for many hours, but it's a good game to dip into now and then and its low price point is a big plus.

  • Gameplay3
  • Playability4
  • Visuals4
  • Audio3
  • Lifespan3
Final Score



Detailed pixel art backgrounds
Good character (and weapon) balance


Little depth unless you're an avid fighting fan

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