Twitch Played Punch Club And Got A Girlfriend

First Twitch mastered Pokemon. Then Twitch mastered Halo. Then Twitch played and eventually (sort-of) mastered Dark Souls. With each step, each new game, the global AI known as “Twitch” learned more about humanity until in 2026 Twitch chat controlled all of the world’s major elections and the global economy.

But first, a bunch of them came together to get Punch Club [official site] released two weeks early. Now that’s accomplished and the game’s out, Twitch resumes scheming.

Take Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out, mix it up with that part in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas where you go to the gym and mash buttons to virtually work out, garnish with a bit of management sim and…yeah, I think that’s Punch Club (formerly known as VHS Story). Also, there’s a story about your dad being murdered and for some reason you fight crocodiles?

Let’s talk about the gimmick. Capitalizing on Twitch’s love of brute-forcing games that could otherwise easily be played alone, publishers tinyBuild decided to pin Punch Club’s release date on the purple masses and create Twitch Plays Punch Club.

“When Twitch Beats Punch Club, the game will launch on Steam,” tinyBuild said in the announcement. “The fate of the game is in the hands of the Twitch chat. Maybe we’ll just never get to launch the game. That would be a bummer, but hey, we’re willing to take that risk. For science.”

Unsurprisingly, they walked back that statement, saying the game would launch January 25th regardless of whether Twitch had completed it or not.

It was a genius marketing move though. Proof? Here I am writing this story, covering a game I’d never paid attention to until now, and I spent most of my morning watching Twitch direct a half-naked man through his gym routine—though that’s pretty much what I do every day.

After 36 hours, Twitch completed the game, so all’s well that end’s well. Here are Twitch’s final stats:

Punch Club is now out on Steam for £6.99. As for the Twitch Plays Punch Club channel? There are already people calling for a replay in chat, so don’t be surprised if they end up collectively punching crocodiles for the next few weeks.


  1. Premium User Badge

    Malarious says:

    The game’s pretty neat. They were handing out keys in the Twitch chat every time we managed to beat a fight. I had to whip up a tiny little Javascript snippet to snag one before anyone else though.

    I just wish there was a way to fast-forward through the fights, especially if you know you’re going to lose. Sometimes you’ll go into a battle and just trade hits for like 10 minutes because neither of you are doing much damage, but your opponent is doing a bit more than you… those bits are frustrating.

    I really like the aesthetic though, and the TwitchPlays gimmick was fun to be a part of.

    • rabbit says:

      ” I had to whip up a tiny little Javascript snippet to snag one before anyone else though. ”
      i feel like that’s kinda mean. maybe that’s just me, i dunno… i’m not saying it to have a go or anything, i just … it just feels a lil like cheating at a pub quiz or something i guess.

      • rabbit says:

        though, as someone who spent a fair while trying to teach myself python & another scripting language, i do appreciate the novel application of programming skill.

        dyou have any suggestions for other lil projects like this? i really liked programming, what i did of it, but i found that … i had big projects which i worked on and which were fun but i always was sort of at a loss for ideas when it came to little programming challenges of that sort. that seems like a pretty fun exercise but other than online maths challenges and stuff to learn programming i never really could think of any small projects to improve my programming.

        • Person of Interest says:

          Write user scripts for your browser: Greasemonkey for Firefox or… I forget the equivalent for Chrome, but search for “Greasemonkey for Chrome” and I’m sure you’ll find something useful.

          You’ll learn some Javascript, some HTML, some of the browser API, and you get to hack / mashup the sites you use every day. And yes, you can also “cut to the front of the line” with a user script.

  2. Asurmen says:

    Article seems lacking in details. What exactly are/is Twitch Plays?

    • Phase- says:

      Every Time you enter a command into the chat of one of these channels a bot reads your command and then it gets entered into the game. When you have thousands of people entering commands at the same time it gets pretty hectic

      • froz says:

        I feel so old (and yet I’m not). I would never guess that’s a thing.

      • Tacroy says:

        It’s not quite every Twitch command – Twitch chat can provide way more commands than a game can register.

        There’s a few different models for how to choose a single command out of the stream, but usually the Twitch Plays interface just picks the next command it sees at certain intervals.

        • DelrueOfDetroit says:

          I watched this stream for maybe 5 minutes and it seemed to me that for this game whichever command was entered the most in a certain amount of time was the one used.

          • pockoman says:

            That’s the “democracy” system, the one the others are talking about is the “anarchy” counterpart. I think it can be changed with enough votes (I’m not too knowledgeable about the subject).

  3. Assirra says:

    I honestly thought the whole “twitch plays x” craze died out a while ago.

  4. JuergenDurden says:

    nothing about this sounds appealing in any way

  5. qrter says:

    Ugh, I thought the Twitch thing was kind of a cheap, shitty marketing trick – instead of doing something that would genuinely involve their community, they went for the showy thing that mainly benefits gaming news sites.

    I mean, I understand that indie devs have to go the extra mile to attract attention, I’m not sure this was the best way to do it.

    (It also didn’t help that their marketing guy behaved like a smug, self-satisfied prick on Twitter.)

  6. xyzzy frobozz says:

    I played this for a couple of hours today. It’s certainly not terrible, but at its core it’s pretty much balancing various stat bars within time/money constraints in order to have them as full as possible come fight night.

    I’m also pretty sick of “pixel art”. I always thought it was cheap to produce, but apparently that isn’t true, so I really don’t understand it as a stylistic choice. It kinda fits the whole late ’80’s beat ’em up theme but…. I don’t know…. I’m totally over nostalgia for that period.