In Penny Punching Princess, we can live a dream: having enough money to throw fistfuls of it at our problems until they solve themselves. It's an adorable beat-em-up with a twist: you can kick the butts of your enemies for money, or you can turn around and bribe them to leave you alone! It's available now on the Nintendo Switch eShop or you can pick up a physical game cartridge on Amazon!
For those wondering about spending cash on a game about spending cash, here's everything we know about Penny Punching Princess!
Penny Punching Princess is a game where "even a level 1 pleb can defeat a tyrant as long as they have money." And at the start of the game, our titular Princess has effectively that mentioned level 1 pleb. She's lost her family, beloved father, and country to the Dragoloan family, a group of corrupt lenders and mobsters who scam people for their money. They're worth 1 trillion G. And Princess is going to take them down.
Princess isn't alone on this adventure. She is accompanied by her beetle butler, Sebastian, and aided by her relative Isabella. Isabella was born a zombie and joins the game later, allowing you to choose to play as either her or Princess. Though she comes with a unique set of zombie powers, she lacks the Princess' signature move: a magical calculator given to her by her greatest benefactor: the God of Money.
How do I play Penny Punching Princess?
Princess battles the Dragoloans over the course of various top-down levels, with waves of enemies interspersed throughout. Between waves, you can explore, discover treasures, and interact with the environment (more on that later) to prepare for your next bout. When the enemies descend upon you, you'll have to either use your various combo punching abilities or your wallet to get them out of your way, filling your pockets with what they drop. After each level, you can visit your kingdom, a menu hub from which you can level up your skills and craft new armor... that is, if you've bribed enough enemies to join the kingdom and do the work for you!
In a world where money is power, it only makes sense that a God of Money would rule. He gifts Princess with a magic calculator that allows her to subvert the traditional beat-em-up gameplay. As you fight your way through enemies, they drop money. Fill your wallet, then enter cash amounts into the calculator on screen to avoid nastier enemies and traps. Enemies who have price tags over their heads can be bribed for the amount you see. Simply put it into the calculator, and win them over to your side. These enemies can help you in the moment, then will return to your hub world kingdom to give you future benefits as you develop your fighting skills.
So how do the controls work?
Princess has a varied arsenal of attacks, with further skills you can develop and discover as you progress: Her basic attack is mapped to Y and can be strung together in combination with other abilities. B is a dodge roll, but Y and B together make for a stronger punch with a slight delay. Hold them down together and release for an even more powerful blast that will knock enemies away at the cost of some of your HP. A is a heavy attack.
Button vs. touch controls
Penny Punching Princess has two separate control schemes, touch, and button. The two are mostly identical but for how Princess's signature skill is used: her calculator. In both schemes, the calculator is activated with ZL. If you're in the touch control scheme, you can input money amounts by tapping them out on the calculator, or just shortcut straight to tapping the enemy you want to bribe. In button controls, you'll have to use the left arrows and A button to slowly input numbers... or just shortcut ZR to target what you want to bribe. Button controls are faster with the ZL + ZR combination, but less precise, as you'll automatically target the nearest bribable thing and may have to use the left arrows to scroll through to find the one you want.
Throw money at everything ... no really
Enemies aren't the only things you can throw money at. You can bribe environmental objects such as cannons or fire pits to attack enemies for you, or you can bribe traps to disarm. Some bosses are bribable if you have enough cash, letting you skip them entirely. You can also offer cash to the God of Money. If your offering pleases him, he'll step in with a Coin Miracle, giving the Princess more powers or allowing her to subvert a Game Over.
From what I've seen so far, Penny Punching Princess promises a challenge. The bribe mechanic isn't just some skippable gimmick--enemy waves will flood your screen in tight spaces, making it difficult to even get a swing in if you don't bribe. Furthermore, your kingdom is built on the enemies you bribe. When you return to the kingdom between stages, you can craft armor for yourself or upgrade your skills if you have the bribed minions to do so. The enemies you need to bribe for the best armor may not always be the enemies that are most strategic to bribe in the moment.
If you can't bribe them at first try, try again
As a result, you'll need to grind. That's okay! Penny Punching Princess expects you to. When you first enter a new stage, try not to worry about what enemies you need for the next armor level. Finish the stage if you can, and if you struggled, check the enemy lists of earlier stages and find the ones you still need to bribe to boost yourself. You should also keep an eye out for any Zenigami Statues you missed, as these equate to needed skill points. Any stage can be done over and over again as much as you like, so if you just need skill points or money, go back to easier stages and bust your way through for high cash rewards and low risk.
How can I fill my pockets with sweet, sweet cash?
Everything in Penny Punching Princess revolves around money, so you're obviously going to need lots of it. While you may be tempted to grab at as much money as possible as you progress, you'll quickly find it difficult to get rich and finish challenging levels at the same time. Most of your money on a new level will go toward bribing environmental pieces to do your work for you, not permanently into your wallet.
Don't fret. As I said above, grinding for money and skill points is expected and necessary in this game. Whenever you're short on cash, revisit old levels and take time to use the break function to shake down your opponents for coins. We found the button control scheme easier to use for this, as rotating the right stick is a faster input than reaching your hand across the screen to tap on an enemy. If you go back to easier levels where you don't have to worry about opponents steamrolling you without bribery, you can simply stand in packs of enemies and break them one after another to rake in the dough.
One last thing to note is that while you can bribe the God of Money to avert a Game Over, it's not recommended. You generally need quite a bit of money to do so, and if you've died once, you're likely going to continue to struggle until you upgrade your skills and armor. Unless you were just on the cusp of finishing the level and don't want to do it all over again, it's better to go back, upgrade yourself, and return later for a win without a Game Over bribe.
Sounds fun enough to punch my pennies for. How much does it cost?
Penny Punching Princess is available in the Switch eShop and as a physical game cartridge for $39.99.
When can I play?
If you find the mechanics curious, you can check out the official, free Penny Punching Princess browser game, which showcases the bribe mechanic. It's just a short auto-runner, but it seems to appropriately capture the mayhem of trying to use a calculator while dodging enemies.
Penny Punching Princess is available now in the Nintendo eShop or as a physical game cartridge!
Any questions about Penny Punching Princess?
If you're wondering a little more about the mechanics of this financial frolick, put them in the comments and I'll answer your questions.
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