Need to know

What is it? A turn-based roguelike focused on intense melee combat.
Expect to pay $25/£19.49
Developer Ground Shatter
Publisher Mode 7
Reviewed on Nvidia GTX 970, Intel I5-4460, 32GB Ram
Multiplayer? No
Link Official site

Smashing an armed goon’s head against the wall before launching his buddy out of a third story window doesn’t sound particularly strategic on paper, but the small-scale turn-based combat of Fights in Tight Spaces transforms even the simplest enemy encounter into an intricate puzzle box where the only solution is your fists. Although its roguelike trappings can sometimes detract from the overall experience, the unforgettable moments where everything comes together in a glorious display of cinematic violence always shine through.

Stepping into the well polished shoes of Agent 11, a super spy tasked with bringing down international criminal syndicates, the game’s basic plot serves as little more than set dressing to loosely string together the five separate worlds in which the action occurs. Divided into a series of semi-procedurally generated levels, each world has you fighting your way through a number of tightly enclosed locations that range from densely packed subway carriages to compact office corridors. The Hollywood influences are clear to see and it’s undeniably thrilling to try your hand at recreating some iconic film moments like Casino Royale’s opening bathroom brawl or the tea room shootout in Hard Boiled.

Despite all being rendered in the same charming minimalist style, each world manages to convey enough of a unique aesthetic to memorably set them apart—a fact which is greatly helped by the huge variety of enemy designs that are just waiting to be discovered. In my first run alone I ended up squaring off against a terrifying cleaver-wielding prison chef before bumping into a gang of bloodthirsty ninjas, and yet the sheer number of types on offer meant that every subsequent playthrough still had plenty of surprises in store.

(Image credit: Mode 7 Games)

In addition to the clear visual differences, later enemies can also be distinguished by their distinct combat abilities. Early on, the new introductions are limited to basic buffs, like having a slightly higher health pool or regenerating shields. But soon you’re dealing with the complex attack patterns of long-range firearms, or enemies with the ability to launch a sudden counter blow outside of their turns.


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