Fights in Tight Spaces – Review
Follow Genre: Deck-building, Strategic, Puzzle
Developer: Ground Shatter
Publisher: Modus 7 Games
Platform: PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
Tested on: PC

Fights in Tight Spaces – Review

Site Score
8.0
Good: Original, smart, well-crafted
Bad: No sense of progression upon deaths
User Score
10.0
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)

People simply love well-choreographed fights in movies. Fights such as those in John Wick or the Matrix attract a lot of attention. Perhaps older, more simple-minded ones with famous action stars such as Jean-Claude van Damme and Steven Seagal tend to be the most memorable pieces you remember from that period. Fights in Tight Spaces partially plays on these choreographies and combines them with smart, strategic gameplay.

Story

You play as a secret agent going on special missions. These secret missions exist of visiting multiple locations where you have to fight enemies or very occasionally experience some type of multiple-choice event. The “story” is explained at the start of each set of missions. The first one is about a biker gang, the second one about infiltrating a prison, for example. You only get a little bit of an informative background story at the beginning though. During the game, the fights are the only “story” you will get, and that’s why the game largely feels like a game where you create the story with your imagination while playing. By adding harder enemies (including bosses) as you move on, the game follows the classic “beat them to the top” style of old action movies as well. What also helps to tell a story is that after a level you can also watch or save a replay if you feel the moves looked cool.

Graphics

Graphically, Fights in Tight Spaces is simply well made. The game does not mess around with any unnecessary graphics and communicates only what you need to know. Your character is stylized in black, the enemies in red. It’s also quite easy to differentiate between enemies, as they all have their own unique appeal. A quick hover over one with the mouse and you get to know everything you need to know about them. The fighting animations are also fun to watch, but the only point of critique here is that the replay option is a bit disappointing. It’s not smooth enough to make it feel like watching an action movie, which would have been a nice way to end each level. Now it’s just watching back the moves you made without gameplay information, but with pauses between each move.

Sound

The music in Fights in Tight Spaces is fitting for a fight in a ’90s dance club. It has some dense dark techno vibes to it, and it’s nice for what it is. Probably you can pretty much make any music fit with a game like this, so you couldn’t have done many wrong things with this. The sound effects are only there for (fighting) movements. Think about the swooshes, the impacts, the bashing, and so on. They make the game come alive with great timing, but those real explosive fights are still lacking due to the strategic gameplay.

Gameplay

The game is a strategic semi-deckbuilding puzzling game where you need to use your cards to either move around or beat up baddies. Where Fights in Tight Spaces perhaps lacks in explosivity, it brings a different kind of tension. Each fight you are set in a space with little room to move, and you get a selection from your deck of cards. The tension comes from using your cards in a way so you don’t get smacked around by everybody in the room. This will mean you need to learn the attack patterns of your enemies and make sure you inflict damage while still staying out of harm’s way, using the cards you were dealt this round to the best of your abilities. You can inflict damage, try to kick and remove enemies from certain points on the map, or use the environment to your advantage if your cards allow it.

Staying untouched is kind of an important thing, as the game’s biggest downside is that it wants you to go for a long run. For each of the five campaigns available, you will only unlock the next one once you have passed the one before. If you pass one though, there’s a good chance you upgraded your deck by doing so, and you get a bonus passive enhancement upon completion. Fun, right? Well, if you die, you lose all that. And, losing is quite easy in Fights in Tight Spaces. Once a campaign is unlocked, you can also start that one, but the game already warns you that it’s probably quite a bit harder if you don’t go through the previous ones first (since you miss the upgrades). In that regard, Fights in Tight Spaces also has a rogue-lite aspect. Your well-earned upgrades for your deck of cards will be different each time.

Each run-through will also be different. There are a couple of tight environments for each campaign that randomly follow up on each other on a map. You generally get two choices to pick from, and these choices can make it slightly easier or harder for you. The sense of long-term progression is really missing in the game though, which gets more annoying every time you pass a campaign and die in the next one. While the game is fun, sometimes there is just no way of getting out and you get smothered by too many enemies at once. Long-term progression could have balanced this out, but sadly you will have to do without. Do you like a challenge though? Fights in Tight Spaces definitely has that on offer.

Conclusion

Fights in Tight Spaces is well made, communicates well graphically, and has some good and original gameplay. The only thing that’s really lacking is the sense of long-term progression, as you’ll have to deal with having to start over if you possibly (probably) die. Still, it’s a smart game that offers a great challenge, and it’s definitely worth it if you like puzzling, strategy, and fighting in tight spaces.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Fights in Tight Spaces - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
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Find me on youtube to see some playthroughs! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuBrlulGywcb0EiYWBnA1ng

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