As I wandered around PAX West 2022, I came across a number of intriguing games to try out, one of which being Bare Butt Boxing from indie developer Tuatara Games.
As you can imagine, I saw the word “butt” in the title and the glorious, sculpted cheeks of one of the game’s characters in the poster art and was immediately sold on the idea. Curious about how the game works, I stepped up and played a few rounds with a few strangers and had an absolute blast.
The concept of Bare Butt Boxing is wonderfully simple as you’ll primarily use the right and left controller triggers to throw punches at your foes. There are movement options to jump or dash as well to help you avoid potential blows, though you’ll need to be careful to avoid map hazards when dodging.
This can be surprisingly tricky given that character movement is intentionally wonky and floppy. For example, I flung myself away from one enemy a few times only to run right into another who’d then swiftly punch me into a portal.
While this sounds like it’d be something that’d be a bit frustrating, I honestly found it hilarious each and every time it happened to me because it, like the rest of the game, is chaotic and unpredictable in the best possible way.
If you’ve ever played Gang Beasts, character movement in Bare Butt Boxing feels similar, though the combat itself is wholly unique in that you’re not just punching opponents, you’re trying to strategically punch them into various map hazards like portals and electric bumpers that can toss them and their bouncing butts out-of-bounds.
Whoever is able to punch the greatest number of foes into the abyss wins, and you can see who’s in the lead as the match progresses as they’re given a cute little crown next to their username. There are also items in the game like flower pots you can pick up and throw at your foes if you aren’t in punching range, giving the game a Smash Bros. sort of feel as well.
Overall, the game is shaping up to be a delightful little party game to enjoy with your friends. And, even though I didn’t win any of the Bare Butt Boxing matches I played at PAX West 2022, I enjoyed every last one of them just the same.
You can wishlist Bare Butt Boxing right now on Steam with the game set to be released sometime in 2023. For more from PAX West 2022, also be sure to read through some of our other coverage including our interview with Monkey Island’s Ron Gilbert and Dave Grossman, and our hands-on preview of Goat Simulator 3.