You know those awful days wherein you’re chewed out by your boss, your teacher, or your dog? And you cork your frustration by gnawing on a pencil? Well, Kick the Buddy for iOS is a good way to de-stress after coming into contact with people you dislike, and it spares you the possibility of granite poisoning.
Kick the Buddy isn’t a traditional game; it’s more like pocket-sized therapy. When you start up the app, a limbless ragdoll who bears an uncomfortable resemblance to Sony’s Sackboy comes to life in a single, empty room. Your mission is to fling this doll, “Buddy,” into walls and onto the floor.
Sorry, Buddy. Time out’s not an option.
Alternatively, you can pull him, squish him, and purchase instruments of pain that turns your little studio apartment into a veritable torture chamber. You can shoot Buddy with guns of all sizes and makes, pound him with blunt objects, fling bowling balls at him, shoot him with darts, arrows, fling grenades, and much more. Buddy always returns to earth unscathed, if not a little saddened.
In fact, Buddy will utter whimpers, pleas, and even a few threats as you beat him up. Most of these are pretty funny thanks in no small part to a slightly malformed English script (“Put your fingers away from the display!!”), but it’s still hard not to feel a bit bad for the little dude as you wail on him.
That’s why Kick the Buddy includes an option where you can change Buddy’s face to any picture stored on your iOS device. This small change completely shifts the dynamic of the “game,” and suddenly it feels pretty good to give buddy what for. Some suggested faces to try out: your employer, your worst enemy, or a Tyrannosaurs Rex.
The more you beat up Buddy, the more money you earn. You use that money to buy more weapons. It’s the Circle of Life, Simba. There are also some especially fun weapons that can only be unlocked via microtransactions.
Other than earning big bucks for inflicting physical pain, however, there’s not much to Kick the Buddy. That’s fine, as you’ll still have a good time just pulling the guy around and filling his straw guts with darts. Kick the Buddy is a great stress reliever, and it also sheds a thin beam of light on your own psychotic tendencies. Disturbing, but fun.