Best iPad games: Punch Quest

Fantastic, fighty and free running game for iPad and iPhone

Apple has revolutionised how we consume and play portable games with iPhone and iPad. In this new regular series, CVG discovers and celebrates the most innovative new iOS games on the App Store. Click through the links to find our full list of best iPad and best iPhone games.

Best iPad games: Punch Quest

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Punch Quest is excellent, instant iOS gratification. It revives Double Dragon via Jetpack Joyride in its mad dash from left to right, mixing pacy combat with laser-mounted velociraptors and somersaulting gnomes. It's also free.

To begin, a tap on the left of the screen triggers a Street Fighter-style uppercut, which also doubles as a jump. At tap to the right unleashes a flurry of punches, which combine into left-right-left combos when hammered repeatedly.

From there, your shirtless hero's moveset is upgraded quickly as you earn in-game currency. Soon, bursts of play require a little more thought than a constant tap-tap-tap of the screen; tougher enemies demand different styles of attack. In-game achievements tot up with each run too, always offering further ways to augment play. The upgrade process is often tedious in games of this ilk, but Punch Quest's is super-simple. Follow the gnomes through the menus in the Lootatorium to find the most useful new powers for your next mission and you're onto the next run.

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Where the stages split, go for the egg route each time. It's here we can leap atop a laseraptor or turn into a gnome, changing the scenery and enemies dramatically. But even during 'normal' stretches of play, developers Rocketcat and Madgarden don't ever give the player a chance to get bored. Each game rarely lasts more than five minutes, but that is exactly the point.

Revisiting Punch Quest's pixellated dungeons to slap its orcs, bats and cloaked ghouls upside the head is never less than a joy. It is freemium done right, relying only on the entirely optional purchase of power-ups for the impatient, or silly hats and other accoutrements for those who feel the need to accessorise.

Punch Quest injects wit and frenzied, constantly evolving combat into a running game which could yet become the next App Store sensation. And it's free, for christ's sake. Download it at once.

Punch Quest is free on the App Store. Download it here.