Hockey Fight Pro by Ratrod Studio Inc. icon

Hockey Fight Pro ($0.99) by Ratrod Studio Inc. is a hockey fighting game where you can fight against a variety of players in tournament, quick fight or multiplayer modes. It features 3D graphics, online leaderboards and works with the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

Hockey Fight Pro by Ratrod Studio Inc. screenshot

For the first few decades of my life, I was mostly anti-hockey. Over the last six months or so, I have been enlightened to the splendors of the game and now even sometimes enjoy playing casual, non-contact roller hockey.

With this perspective, I somewhat understand both the fanaticism of NHL fans and also the fading interest of most of the population of America. If casual sports fans do flip to a hockey game, it is only to see if a bare-knuckled brawl is in progress. If not, the channel is quickly flipped to either Dancing With the Stars or MMA.

Fortunately, RatRod Studios realized this and took out every part of the game that non-hockey fans don’t like. What was left was affectionately called Hockey Fight Pro.

If you haven’t figured it out already, this resembles a hockey game in no manner or fashion. Rather, it more closely resembles the more mainstream Fight Night. You are a hockey player and you must battle your way through a variety of foes, distinguished only by the variety of jersey they wear.

No context is given as to the purpose of these fights. Gloves are just tossed off, sleeves are slightly rolled up and fists begin to fly. You have four punch buttons to push- one for each hand, high and low. Using these buttons in combination creates blocks and swipes, and can be used for special moves as well. Beating opponents in tournament mode unlocks them for future use.

My first impressions were that this was a difficult, button-crunching affair. Further exploration convinced me that skill is required as well as leveling up your fighter. If you button-crunch too much, you lose your stamina and you have to fend off punches with blocks until it returns.

The graphics, animations and general bloodletting are impressive while the music and commentary is good, albeit quite repetitive. The online leaderboards and multiplayer give the game substantial added value.

While some might complain that Hockey Fight Pro is a mockery of the sport and somewhat one-dimensional, I would argue that it is just the swagger the rink needs. HFP is wildly entertaining, well worth the price and is a should buy.