Back in January, during PAX South, I spotted an odd duck head on someone at a booth that had a game playing on a Playstation Vita. These being odd things to see, I thought I’d stop to take a closer look at Pato Box. Seeing that the game was coming to the Nintendo Switch it piqued my interest and since then I was able to stay in touch with Samir Durán Kuri, the project manager at Bromio. He was able to get me an interview with the game director, Antonio Gutierrez, for the Nindies and Indies podcast.
With inspiration from the play mechanics of the Punch Out series and the art style of a black and white graphic novel that harkens back to Mad World for the Wii, Pato Box is a challenging game that can be down right punishing at times but has a charm that only a boxing duck man can bring to the table. The story mode has a noir esq feel to it with some stealth and puzzle aspects as you try to figure out the nefarious schemes of Deathflock, the huge corporation behind the betrayal, downfall, and attempted murder of the protagonist, Pato Box. There are also collectible Patokens in each level that unlocks something special when you collect them all. The bosses are the real meat and potatoes of the game play though as each one has different quirky mechanics to learn and counter. From a cybernetic psycho babe to a soup slinging chef to a death dealing DJ. Each encounter will walk you down memory lane as you suffer from post traumatic stress flashbacks of throwing quarters at the Punch Out arcade machine. Speaking of the classics and nostalgia, there is an arcade mode for those of you who just want to get to the fights and go from boss to boss to see how far you can get with three lives.
As far as utilizing the features of the Switch go, the controls are nice and tight and the graphics are crisp in handheld mode as well as docked. There is an option to utilize motion controls as well which definitely take some getting used to, but at least deserve a chance for a good play through of arcade mode.
The Verdict – 9/10
Overall Pato Box is a must have for anyone who was a Punch Out fan. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a challenging, classic style of gameplay with a new spin on it. I thoroughly enjoyed the game and I hope you give yourself the opportunity to as well.