Smack up adorable claymation critters in an alien burger factory with Bonky

We've all been there. You're hanging with your buds over a campfire, when suddenly an alien interrupts the show while your back is turned. Suddenly, you find yourself storming a burger factory and beating up cats to uncover an extra-terrestrial conspiracy.

So goes The Ballad of Bonky, a stunning arena brawler by developers Guy Unger and Cobcris. Surfacing with a demo during Steam Next Fest, Bonky's arcade brawling is a joy to look at—worlds and characters carefully sculpted from models, popping out of the screen with cartoon flair. 

That claymation is accompanied by some properly fun writing accompanied by flavourful character portraits, and a joyous Saturday morning score that goes from popping a cappella to frenetic acoustic guitar jams.

Bonky's brawling isn't just cute, though. It's delightfully bouncy, with each hit bouncing enemies across the room at lightning speed. They'll ricochet off walls and slam into other baddies, with a little bit of Lethal League in how you can keep clattering the poor sods to build up combos and increase their speed. When fights get crowded, you suddenly find yourself juggling up to a half-dozen careening critters at a time. It's a punch-up by way of pinball, and it's great.

The Ballad of Bonky is due a release sometime next year. But you can play the game's opening level right now for free over on Steam.

Natalie Clayton
Features Producer

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time, and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and a part-time game developer herself, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She also unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.