The first thing that struck me about Punch Quest (no pun intended) was the amount of thought that must have gone into the controls. Endless Runners tend to have extremely simple controls, often using the entire touchscreen as a single button that is your only input. Arcade Beat 'em Ups were a bit more complex, tending to use a joystick for eight directional movement along with three buttons: Punch/Weapon, Jump, and Kick/Special Move. Punch Quest squeezes all of this into the equivalent of two buttons. The right half of the screen is Jab/Special Move/Forward Dash, and the left half is Uppercut/Jump. Pressing them both at the same time triggers a Block and causes your character to stand still until you let go. This gives you an impressive amount of control to the point where it sometimes reminded me of the classic console platformers I grew up on.
Wait, boss fights? In an Endless Runner? Surprisingly, yes! While the game is clearly a runner at its core, it borrows the idea of boss fights from its Beat 'em Up roots. You don't actually stop running to fight the bosses. Instead, they fly along with you to stay on the screen, similar to the bosses in classic Beat 'em Up vehicle stages. The variety of attacks and strategies offered actually exceeds what is typically seen in the genre, and reminded me of classic platformer boss battles. The flying giant punching fist machine for example could easily have been in an early Sonic the Hedgehog title. Figuring out the best strategy and powerup combination for each boss was part of the fun, and quickly defeating the ones that previously gave so much trouble was very satisfying.