No, this isn’t about Brendy Caldwell’s excellent RPS article series of the same name, but it’s arguably just as good. PUNKSNOTDEAD is a fleeting roar of pure mastery. A stage-dive into a candy colored killmadness. An out-of-tune guitar bellowing through shredded vocal chords. It’s a game that feels like a punk song, unrestrained and full of righteous rage. The end result is brief as it is pure, but the¬†cacophonous punch-frenzy of a sidescroller holds nothing back. Also, it uses curse words! Oooooooooooooo.

In short (and also long, honestly), you play as one dude who punches other dudes into different dudes. And cars. And light poles. And all other things. Bodies soar, machines go up in angry flames, and emissions of wild defiance (“GET FUCKED,” “EAT SHIT,” etc) spill forth like sweet candy from a pinata. Only you’re not fighting pinatas. Your fists are shouting back against complacent conformation and blind hatred of difference. The Man, in other words.

But The Man has guns, and a single well-placed bolt of gooey green will do you in. So, mechanically speaking, the game’s about timing and awareness. Random NPCs can become gunmen at any time, so punch and leap wisely. Otherwise, you will be quickly and brutally punished. PUNKSNOTDEAD has a bit of Hotline Miami to it, in that sense. Admittedly, it’s not quite as satisfyingly precise or polished, but it makes up for its shortcomings with undiluted destruction.

Truth be told, PUNKSNOTDEAD is no revolution, but it’s fascinating and feels wonderful. For a project created by developer mooosh in 12 hours, that’s quite the accomplishment – and fitting to boot. This is an experience, after all, that’ll leave you out of breath and charged with restless adrenaline. If it was crafted in any other fashion, it just wouldn’t feel right.


  1. deadly.by.design says:


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  2. Slabs says:

    I suspect this is actually an advergame as “GET FUCKED, EAT SHIT” is the new McDonalds slogan.

  3. apathy0o0 says:

    Since it took me a couple of minutes to find it, the controls are Arrow Keys and Z.

  4. sinister agent says:

    I punched a man and then I done a swear.

  5. Babrook says:

    Is this what passes as ‘pure mastery’ now?

  6. lukabratzi says:

    Nothing about this struck me as punk, the whole attitude that punk is about punching people is really juvenile, and the song was legitimately terrible

    Not a fan

    • Phasma Felis says:

      Indie game design is punk as fuck. Rough-around-the-edges DIY.

      • lukabratzi says:

        I never said indie game design wasn’t punk as fuck. I just didn’t find the game fun and Yeah its punk to do your own thing and do it outside of the major publishers and it is insanely that games are doing that but I just thought the song was really bad and didn’t find the gameplay all that “punk”

        I say that as someone who loves punk rock and thinks it should be more than just randomly punching people into cops and shouting obscenities.

        • Nicodemus Rexx says:

          Having sat down and played it for 5-minutes I can offer an opinion on what would make this more of a game and less of an “interactive art thing.”

          1. I wish I was a different color so I could actually tell who I was. Isn’t punk about individuality and stuff?

          2. Song is kind of repetitive (Probably because it has to be able to loop ad infinitum) Even so, a little variation would be rad and less mind-numbing.

          3. Controls are kinda awkward. Maybe this is just because I’ve only become a PC convert in the last 5 years or something, but some button mapping would be nice. Speaking of which…

          4. How the flip do you quit the game? Alt+F4 or something? ESC doesn’t work.

          5. Punching people in this game is actually totally ****n’ metal. Even though it’s supposed to be punk. Wait a min…

          All that crap said; For something that got hammered out in 12 hours this is actually surprisingly amusing (to me). A little more work and it might become an actual game.

          • lukabratzi says:

            agreed that it is really cool for something that got done in 12 hours. that alone is really impressive

          • fishyboy says:

            Agree on basically everything here, especially the lack of player individuality, it’s way too hard to keep track of yourself. I could see that being a mechanic in some sort of moshing sim but here it doesn’t really add a lot. Being able to punch while walking would be great, it feels really awkward to have to stop to punch. Punching bullets is rad, though.

        • Nicodemus Rexx says:

          Actually I didn’t mean to reply to you. Sorry bout that. Still tryin’ get how this comment section works. I’m new by the way.

    • DeVadder says:

      Well, the song for once is as punk as they get.
      And i believe running around and punching pixelpeople into pixelcars without reason or thinking is punk enough, at least for me.

    • DrollRemark says:

      It’s barebones, it’s basic, it’s punk.

  7. KDR_11k says:

    Isn’t punk supposed to be Suda51’s domain?

  8. Tyrone Slothrop. says:

    Punk wasn’t nearly as good as proto-punk. I’ll take Patti Smith and The Velvet Underground any day of the century over purely talentless posers like the Ramones.

    • DeVadder says:

      If you demand talent or art, then the kind of punk played in this game is certainly not for you indeed.
      If you, like me, enjoy the thought (and memory) of drinking beer in a small joint and pushing unwashed people around to the beat of the music, while beeing pushed around by more unwashed people and trying to rasp the lyrics of the song, then i would prefer punk. Allthough there obviousy are hundreds of completely different notions about what punk is. Especially about what kind of music punk is.
      For me it is bands like SMBC, S.I.K,, Fahnenflucht, Cotzraiz, Eisenpimmel and Pestpocken.
      For someone else, who also legitametly might be claiming to like punk, those bands might be utter garbage or noise.

  9. crinkles esq. says:

    This is less punk and more hooligan.

  10. The Random One says:

    This seems to be a fortuitous time to tell everyone to read Caldwell’s series, because it’s bloody awesome.

  11. Kraskiez says:


  12. obd2works says:

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