Mike Tyson: Main Event iPhone review

Mike Tyson: Main Event iPhone reviewThose of you as old as me will probably remember Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! on the original 8-bit NES. It was pretty good. Mike Tyson: Main Event for iOS is much the same, so that’s a good thing, right? Well, in theory.

In Mike Tyson: Main Event you control some random dude and the aim is to work your way up the boxing ladder, dispatching an array of colourful characters with the ultimate goal of punching Mike Tyson himself in the gob.

There’s some vague tie-in with the Hangover II that I don’t entirely understand. One of the rings has a Hangover II logo, and you can fight the annoying Chinese guy and Mike Tyson in a suit, but otherwise…

There’s also an appearance from some band I’d never heard of, namely All Time Low. A quick google search reveals that they’re one of those American “pop punk” bands, with more of an emphasis on pop – and stylish hairdos apparently – than punk.

The fictional characters are infinitely more offensive, particularly the sumo. He’s called Gariyaki, which rhymes with teriyaki; get it? “LOL!” Worse still, when Gariyaki insists: “You will not violate my honor in this ring,” the protagonist replies: “Spicy pork… To go!!!” Consider your honour violated, Gariyaki. Incredible. Absolutely incredible.

There’s no tutorial in Mike Tyson: Main Event. Fortunately the controls are easy enough to figure out. Tapping down on the virtual d-pad blocks, which isn’t as effective as dodging a punch entirely by moving left or right (makes sense); if you tap up and punch simultaneously, you’ll let rip with an uppercut.

As in the other Punch-Out!! games, muchos patience is required. Instinctively you’ll want to relentlessly punch your opponent’s face in, but doing so drains your stamina and leaves you unable to punch. As such, the more effective tactic is to hold off and counter attack.

The chance of an opponent being knocked out seems entirely random. Some guys will get back up a few times, while others will go down in the first round. It’s a similar case with your own guy, which can be frustrating.

When you’re given the chance to get back up, you simply have to tap a series of stars. It’s as easy as it sounds, and you’ll rarely find yourself struggling to get back on your feet.

You earn RockCash as you progress, which can be used to purchase power-ups, but it’s a slow process. The developer hopes that you’ll opt instead to fork out RealCash, with punches and health drinks ranging from 59p to £2.39.


  • It’s good old Punch-Out!!
  • Array of opponents
  • Looks good


  • Terrible – and occasionally offensive – trash talk
  • Irksome random TKOs
  • Saving RockCash takes aaages

Summary: Mike Tyson: Main Event is enjoyable enough, especially if you’re a fan of the older games. But be prepared for a tough slog without the power-ups.

Developer: Rock Software

Compatibility: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later.

Price: Free @ App Store

Mike Tyson: Main Event iPhone review

Mike Tyson: Main Event iPhone review

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