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Review: Ultimate Stick Fight – A Great Independent Arcade-Style Fighter for iOS

Review: Ultimate Stick Fight – A Great Independent Arcade-Style Fighter for iOS

In the 80s and into the early 90s arcade style fighting games such as Double Dragon and Final Fight were in their glory days. A lot of developers have tried to bring that nostalgia back and take you on a trip down memory lane. Having a fighting game on iOS is a good fit because they’re easy to pick up and play, but some parts of these fighting games have certain aspects, which might affect it like controls that may not respond as well on a touch screen. Dragon Nest Studio is hoping to find the right balance of gameplay and controls with Ultimate Stick Fight ($0.99, App Store Link) on iOS.


Ultimate Stick Fight has more of a simpler storyline just as most arcade fighting games. The premise of the story is that the Dragon crime family has come to take over your city. It’s up to you to take your city back and rid the crime family of their evil rule and power. It’s a basic story, which is cut and dry, but of course since the characters are pretty simple themselves, they’re only stick figures, and this is just a beat-em-up scroller, the storyline fits well into the gameplay itself.

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You can choose between two different heroes in the game, either Ryan or Slash. Ryan is your run-of-the-mill fighter. He’s an all-back stick fighter who has basic melee abilities using his fists, or in this case, his sticks, and kicking his way through each stage. Slash, the purple bandana fighter on the other hand, is a little more of a unique character. He has a bit more to offer as far as weaponry.

He wields a sword and later a gun as you upgrade him. Slash is certainly the way to go if you prefer something that sets yourself apart from the enemies. If you would rather go the traditional route, Ryan is a solid choice. I would have just liked if they had equipped him with some sort of weapon like nun-chucks, but he still gets the job done nonetheless.

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In Ultimate Stick Fight there are 40 stages and 8 environments. It’s a nice contrast of environments that have some detail compared to the characters and enemies. One thing that I think was missing on Ultimate Stick Fight was the ability to change out the characters. Either if it was mid-fight on even between stages, it’s something that should be standard in beat-’em-up scrollers today. Since the game doesn’t give you this option, you have to start a new game with either character, which is a little dissatisfying since the gameplay is somewhat repetitive in every environment.

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Since Ultimate Stick Fight is an arcade fighter, controls are an important aspect of the game. To move the character you have the ‘left’ and ‘right’ buttons on the left of the screen and the action buttons; ‘hold’, ‘kick’, ‘punch’, and ‘jump’ on the right. ‘Punch’, ‘kick’, and ‘jump’ are pretty self-explanatory. The ‘hold’ button allows you to pick up and throw objects at enemies. All these objects can be used up to two times. The one action button, which isn’t included in Ultimate Stick Fight, is a ‘block’ button. It doesn’t hinder the gameplay too much, since all you have to do is button mash to avoid getting hit, but it still would have been welcoming.

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If you’re a fan of traditional beat-’em-up scrollers, Ultimate Stick Fight is a game that would certainly entertain you. There are three difficulty levels you can choose from; easy, medium, and hard. I played on all three levels and from what I noticed, there isn’t that much of a difference from easy to medium, but once you get to hard, it really starts to get challenging.

This is where it resembles the difficulty of old-school fighters. On each stage you can earn coins that the enemies left behind, which enables you to upgrade your character’s skills to earn new moves and combos. It’s a nice bonus that makes for a fun achievement. With over 40 stages, Ultimate Stick Fight is a solid game for any fan of arcade fighters.

Price: $0.99, App Store Link

Rating: 4/5[rating:4]


  • 40 different stages and 8 different environments
  • Each fighter has 20 fight moves and styles
  • No IAPs needed to progress


  • Can’t switch out characters during or between stages
  • No ‘block’ button
  • Only one character has weapons

* The above review was commissioned by the developer in accordance with our app review policy, and has been written in an objective, unbiased fashion.