Punch Club Becomes The First Big Indie Hit Of 2016

Punch Club Becomes The First Big Indie Hit Of 2016

Out of everything that’s released in 2016, two titles have stuck out in my mind. The first one is the subversive platformer-puzzler hybrid Pony Island, which certainly stands out for being one of the more meta titles in recent times.

The second is Punch Club, the boxing management simulator whose marketing campaign was run through the quirky medium of Twitch Plays. It’s apparently worked, with the game grossing more than US$1 million in sales in 10 days.

TinyBuild Games, which was also responsible for Speedrunners, announced they had surged past the 100,000 sales mark on all platforms (mobile, PC and Mac) following its release on January 8. The game was scheduled to be released later this month but launched early after Twitch Plays proved to be more efficient than expected.

Punch Club launched on iOS late last week but has already racked up tens of thousands of downloads there, with the Steam Spy database estimating sales on Steam of just over 67,000 as of this morning. The Android version of the game is due out on January 28 (the game’s original release date), while a content patch that expands upon the original storyline is due out next month.

It makes Punch Club the first big indie success of the year — or at least the first big success that we know of so far. It’ll be interesting to see follows suit, and how many other developers think of leveraging the Twitch Plays channel for their own marketing.


  • Punch Club is interesting, really finding it tough to balance work/rest/training to get/keep my stats up. Once you break into the top 5 in the rookie league you start hitting a bit of a wall.

    • I know it’s not exactly conducive to fun factor, but isn’t that roughly what it’s like in the real life sport the game’s based upon? Tough to stay in peak condition, tough to break through the top of the rookies to become a pro.

      • Oh absolutely, I’m sure that’s the point of it as well. I’m just finding that there doesn’t seem to be a “right” solution just yet, so it’s hard to “gamify” the best path. That said, I’ve only spent a couple of hours with it so far. I’m sure someone has probably figured a way to master the game easily and therefore take all the fun out of it, so I’m deliberately not looking up guides etc.

        • Here’s how I’ve been testing things lately:

          1. Work as much as possible, spend the money on meat. Don’t go to the gym, just get a bunch of meat and maybe $100 left over.

          2. Fight every time it comes up. Doesn’t matter if you lose. Invest the skill points in whatever is required to unlock the “can’t lose stat below 4” ability for your main stat. You won’t be able to purchase it yet but have the skill points available to be able to buy it.

          3. Go to the gym and work the machine that increases your main stat until diminishing returns kicks in, then switch to one or two other machines that have your main stat as a secondary workout. When the cooldown on the first machine is down, switch to it again. Do this until you run out of food or energy.

          4. Go home, eat, sleep, then go back to the gym and repeat step 3 until you hit 4 points in your main stat. Immediately buy the minimum stat talent.

          5. Repeat the process to get your main stat to 8, or repeat the process to get your secondary stat to 4.

          I’m almost certain this isn’t an optimal way of doing things, but it does give you some protection. While your stat is at 4 (or 8 later) and you have that minimum stat skill unlocked, you’re free to focus on another stat for a while, or to go and earn some money to buy food (don’t carry around more than $150 or so unless you want people to try to mug you) to build up a stockpile of funds to pay for the training.

          • I hadn’t looked ahead in the skill tree to be sure, but I was reasonably certain there’d be another skill to lock abilities at 8 and was slowly working towards that.

            I’ve decided not to buy any of the supplements that give you a temporary boost. I’m sure the game will judge me later for this.

          • Yeah, I’ve refused to do the potions too. Just seems like a cheap way to win and I don’t want that.

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