Pato Box from Mexican indie studio Bromio is an interesting monochromatic homage to the beloved Punch-Out!! series, now up for a match on Nintendo Switch. Learn more about it in our Pato Box review!
In Pato Box you step into the shoes of the titular reigning champion supreme. After a short tutorial that teaches you the basics, such as punching left with the B button and right with the A button, and punching high from each corresponding direction by holding up on the D-Pad or the left analog stick (that is if you’re not using the game’s included motion controls), you’ll be thrown into your first proper fight. Unfortunately, someone throws something into your water bottle and you end up being drugged mid-fight. As you can imagine, things don’t go as planned and you end up being defeated, with your bloody almost-corpse on the sidewalk.
As you can imagine, this opens up the door for vengeance, so you take on searching for and defeating all members of Deathflock to obtain their emblems so that you can go and face the main boss at the top of the building. Your first boss battle does not happen right away, and this is where the game differs from the Punch-Out!! series. Instead of battling boss after boss right away, you’ll first need to complete a stage in which you explore around from a 3rd person perspective, destroying devices, avoiding deadly traps and collecting floating Patokens here and there (more on these in a bit). Once you manage to reach the end of a stage, you’ll take on the corresponding boss in a fight that is very much a take on the beloved Punch-Out!! formula. There is no health bar so you’ll just need to punch away until you enter a new phase in the fight and you eventually beat the boss.
If you thought that the Punch-Out!! fighters in Super Punch-Out!! and Punch-Out!! on the Wii were a bit over the top, then you’re going to have a blast with the bosses in Pato Box. Take the first boss you find. She has a robotic leg, throws a couple of fast punches or goes off to do a devastating almost flying attack, and can also call in machine gun bots, lasers or electrical nodes to do some considerable damage. As you explore a stage you will find notes that will either give you a look at some of the game’s story or share a tip on how to handle the crazy attacks from bosses, so be sure to search everywhere and pay attention!
Going back to the Patokens, these are floating small duck tokens (pato means duck in Spanish, hence the name of these tokens), and you can find five in each of the game’s stages. The more you find the more stuff you can get to decorate your room, so they work as both in-game currency and an extra collectible for you to find if you want to 100% the game. Several of the are out in plain sight, but others are hidden and you will need to search every corner of a stage, or destroy some of the items you find lying around, to uncover them.
Overall, Pato Box is a solid effort from Mexican indie Bromio, and a welcome addition to the Nintendo Switch library. It pays homage to the Punch-Out!! series while doing its own thing with a very interesting art style that reminded me of MadWorld on Nintendo Wii, which is definitely a good thing since that’s a great looking game on Nintendo’s “two generations ago” console! Your mileage with Pato Box might vary depending on how on board you are with having to finish a level before being able to take on a boss fight, but if you give this one a chance hopefully you’re going to appreciate what Bromio has done on Nintendo’s hybrid console.
This Pato Box review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Bromio.