Fights in Tight Spaces by Mode 7 and developer Ground Shatter is not your traditional fighting game. Unlike most fighting games that require blistered thumbs and button-mashing, Fights in Tight Spaces is a thinking man’s game that requires skill and strategy over reflexes and luck. You see, this game is a deck-building, turn-based tactics game where your deck build can mean the difference between victory and defeat.
At first, it might be hard to imagine what exactly a deck-building, turn-based fighting game might look like and how each card determines your movements, but if you take a look at the quick tutorial above, you’ll begin to understand. Basically, like in other deck-building games, you’re either given or you build your own deck of cards. At each turn, you draw a certain number of cards and those are what you’ll be using during your turn. Cards can consist of offensive and/or defensive cards, but you can only use what you draw during your turn. When you’re done, just end your turn, and then it’s the opponent’s turn.
Opponents don’t draw cards and instead, each opponent on the screen has their own base moves that they use and how they can attack. Some enemies have simple attacks while others have special attacks depending on the icons that show up around them. Some enemies can only attack what’s directly in front of them while others have a much larger area of attack that can span several squares. There are even enemies that can attack when it’s not their turn if you happen to move into their line of attack.
What is neat is that you can also use the environment to your advantage. For instance, some cards allow you to push enemies into objects or out of bounds, while other cards let you do stuff like face smashes into walls or tables. It’s a nice touch that they let you use the whole environment.
While the concept of Fights in Tight Spaces may seem simple enough, it really isn’t. It is in fact quite a challenging game that requires a ton of thought and strategy. Moves sometimes need to be planned when the cards are drawn and it’s best not to just go rushing into using a card all willy-nilly. Instead, you need to decide if this card will work good against this enemy and how it’ll affect your placement or theirs, and what happens next when it’s their turn. That’s a lot to think about as it is not all about offense. Defense is just as important in this game.
That brings me to the fact that you will be losing, a lot, depending on the difficulty level you choose. Even on the easiest settings, you’ll still lose, but you get the added benefit of being able to redo sections. The harder difficulties do not allow for redos and you’ll have to start over from the beginning if you lose a fight. You’ll also be a bit handicapped at the beginning too since you wouldn’t have unlocked many of the more powerful cards yet. You’ll probably want to play on the Suave setting until you get better.
Lastly, let’s talk about the art style here because Fights in Tight Spaces is really eye-catching. I love the use of the silhouette fighters and it reminds me a bit of the game SUPERHOT. Everything from the colors to the white/grey environments reminds me of this. It’s a very cool look and I really like it.
Overall, I’d say that Fights in Tight Spaces is a very good game and a much different take on the fighting genre as a whole. The combination of it being a deck-builder and a turn0based fighting game is really interesting and unique. That’s pretty much one of the reasons why I was so drawn to it. The other of course being its beautiful and stylized art design. So with that said, Fights in Tight Spaces is an excellent addition to anyone’s library. Again, this is a thinking man’s fighting game that I think a lot of people will enjoy, especially if you’re tired of button mashing.
Received game from developer and/or publisher for coverage purposes.
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