Dan The Man: classic arcade pixel butt-kicking on Apple TV

Don’t let the squeaky battle cry fool you–Dan The Man is a platformer bad-ass with fists of fury and the deadliest weapons skills around.

Dan The Man Couch-Games review

Fisticuffs of freedom

Dan The Man lives in an oppressive pixel world of violent militias and evil bureaucrats ruled by a pig of a king. But he’s the powerhouse secret weapon of the underground resistance, a rebel with a cause. He’s up against the idiot king’s riot-gear clad goons armed with fists, billy-clubs and firearms. Our hero leads his gang of revolutionaries in leaps, bounds and fisticuffs, all the way to liberty. Dan’s just an everyday guy (in a karate suit and bandana) who just happens to be a one-man army. And that my friends is needed for this challenging, awesomely done arcade-style fighter-platformer by Aussie developers Halfbrick Studios.

BTW, interestingly Dan The Man was inspired and developed with animation artists Joho Studios. Check out the short web-series for the background story of which your’e playing the final chapter. The whole concept is cool, the series is friggin’ hilarious and the giggles continue.


With a smoking gamepad

Couch-Games went on a brawl-action platform mayhem arcade rampage with Dan The Man on Apple TV. The game is free-to-play with in-app purchases but the tvOS version does require a gamepad. We used the SteelSeries Nimbus which burned it up nicely. If your’e from the old-school gaming days, pixel platform fighters are in your blood. Nevertheless the gamepad gameplay and controls came intuitively natural, fast-paced and fluid. That’s good, ‘cause the joystick/button combinations for melee action definitely kick it–and I mean triple roundhouse kick it! As you get Dan into the fighting flow, you’ll discover a plethora of very cool hand-to-hand combat moves. Not to mention the melee skill upgrades available with your hard-earned stolen coins. Oh don’t worry, Dan also has access to an arsenal of weapons making him even more of a killing machine.


Punching it to the palace

Dan starts in the peasant villages, scrapping his way to the royal city. It’s obvious he’s out to depose the dumb-ass king. The action unfolds over 12 long levels and incremental checkpoints–with secret levels within levels. Dan The Man follows the time-tested platform-fighter game mechanic, no surprises there. The goons and platform trickiness starts light and increases to challenging as you progress. Goons vary from club-toting up to machine-gun happy or jet-pack attacking. Additionally vicious dogs, shocker drones and semi-boss goons up the ante. And there’s a few hard-ass boss battles to boot. Dan collects energy food and coin pick-ups or smashes pots, crates and statues for cash and temporary weapons. Occasionally a Ye Olde Shoppe appears to buy arms or get a nice chicken dinner for healing. But the cash is best spent on upgrading fighting and weapons skills.


Dan The Man is the man

Forget Rambo or Arnie, hell, forget Bruce Lee… Dan, is the Man! But he’s not the only bad-ass available. Play his girl Josie, customize your own fighter or purchase one of 13 other characters. This is where Barry Steakfries from Halfbrick’s Jetpack Joyride (Couch-Games vid review) or Baud The Robot of Destructoid fame come into action! A cool feature, the Daily Event challenge rewards you with locked characters and adds new events each week. It’s a fun-ass story, bad-ass game action and scrappy arcade sound & style with a clever twist at the end. Anyway, ‘nuff said, my gamepad has cooled down, so I’m going back to try thrashing the Dark Master again… WHUTAAA!


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