PunchUp Mobile Game

A Fun way to vent frustrations…

This mobile game was created in response to the accumulating political disappointments that, then in 2017 and even more so now in 2020, are just so prevalent, frustrating, and simply horrific. Particularly in Australia, UK, and US. And more so when considering the lack of political will and lethargic response to climate change and other social challenges.

I wanted an app to vent these frustrations in a silly, fun way, but also in a ‘ventfully’ satisfactory way. I couldn’t get past the idea of certain political faces wrapped around a punching ball, on a spring bouncing back and forth while I could comically pummel them. Though the app was never released, for posterity here is the break down of the game. My role in this was original ideation, brand and UX / UI Design. My partners on this were a strategist and a unity / mobile game developer.

Potential for misuse

During the process though we realised that yes, this could be fun and engaging and used as intended. Or it could be an unacceptable vehicle for bullying, threats, and making light of domestic violence, which is just not on. Regardless of how ‘fun’ we attempted to make the game it still could (and likely) be used in a negative manner.

The reflection on the potential impacts of any design work during the design process, is vital for designers to anticipate ethics and justice in the work they are involved in — all design work affects society, no matter how ‘fun’ designs may set out to be. We need to be cognisant of the potential negative applications to our well-intentioned motivations.


This sequence shows photo-taking, alignment, and fail screens. All pretty well self-explanatory.

Horizontal game play. By using single or multi-finger gestures, different types of ‘hits’ and combination strikes could be achieved. These combos triggered bonus points and slow motion playback. The icon in the lower left corner enabled screenshots to be recorded for post-game sharing.

Vertical game play.

Final screen where users can share the action. Slow motion playback were automatically added during combo hits and special techniques.