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Have You Played... Pato Box?

Quack attack

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Pato Box is… lord. What’s the best way to describe a hybrid of a dystopian graphic novel with Punch-Out about a boxer with the head of a duck who sets out to destroy the secret society of assassins that betrayed him?

I mean, it’s fun as well, but honestly. Throw me a bone here, game.

I’ve described plenty of games as “surreal”, but Pato Box really earns it. It’s not just wacky incongruent things like having the head of a duck (and nobody really making that big a deal of it). It has the consistent, low-thrumming tone of a nightmare scenario that even some far more self-serious dystopian fiction lacks.

Pato Box is stabbed in the back and left for dead, and gradually punches his way up the sinister corporate boxing/gambling/mad science world seeking revenge, justice, or maybe just a continuance of his purpose: to punch. The weave and parry and jab and pound. He’s a tragic, faintly haunted character in a bleak world, an aheroic hero, an avatar of combined fury and fatalism, and he has the head of a duck.

You punch a series of bosses into gravy by learning their attack patterns, when to block and dodge and counter. You dodge swinging saw blades. You punch evil science machines. You dodge suspicious pills. You punch filing cabinets and desks. It’s really hard. You’ll probably get a hollow victory at best, if not the outright oblivion someting in your expressionless face seems somehow to crave. Pato Box.

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Who am I?

Sin Vega

Staff Writer

Nocturnal remembrer of ancient oddities and curator of unlikely treasures. When not destroying roguelikes with her laser eyes Sin can be found muttering to basils and probably moving house again.

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