Preview: Hands-on with Anger Foot at PAX East 2023

Preview: Hands-on with Anger Foot at PAX East 2023

What if we just, like, kick everything?

Anger Foot is a fast-paced FPS kick ’em up that’s as stupidly fun as it is outrageous. You’ll sometimes hear the cliche phrase “this game knows exactly what it is” when describing a product, but in this case it’s completely true; what it we just used our foot and kicked EVERYTHING?

Hey, and it works!

The main attack button is mapped to throwing our foot forward as hard as possible, as if we’re in a 70’s Kung Fu exploitation film, and blasting anything in front of it. Does a foot actually function this way? No, it doesn’t. We’d never see it extended out at 90 degrees out in front of our body like a gun in Duke Nukem, but suspension of belief is clearly at the centerpoint of the game, and that’s perfectly acceptable.

The experience is built on speed, in fact, and the game actively wants us to run as fast as possible through rooms tapping the kick button as if we had a tommy gun for a leg (side note: there’s a game idea, for anyone listening). Just keep tapping, keep kicking, keep running.

The PAX East demo drops us in a back alley and tasks us with kicking our way into the adjacent building. Upon entering, our lizard-like adversaries start popping around corners and beg us to flail our foot wildly at them. A charge of two or three of them can get decimated when we kick, and is a fairly manageable situation, although I do wish there was a button to do a quick 180 — sometimes the speed at which the game moves can make us miss an enemy standing right behind us and whacking away.

If we’re running low on health (the game doesn’t really have a health bar, but you can kind of “feel” that you’ve taken enough damage) we can grab and down any of the numerous bottles of glowing green juice (soda? seltzer? whatever) and replenish… something.

Kicking everything has its strategic advantages, too. If there’s a door, kicking it will likely flatten an enemy behind it, so learning to hit a door head-on (as opposed to kicking at an angle) can take out one or two bad lizards behind it. In one bathroom area, kicking a stall door crushes a poor dude dropping a dookie on the toilet, with the added bonus of the dev team blurring out the guy’s lizard junk as he sits slumped over the toilet. It’s a blink of an eye moment, but weirdly appreciated in effort. There is A LOT of middle school toilet humor in the game, but that’s the intent.

Just magic.

We can get guns, too, because this IS a video game. Early on we can acquire a handgun that can take down enemies at a distance (especially those that have guns, too). If we run out of ammo we can throw the gun and stun an enemy, and pick up another weapon from whomever else we obliterate. The demo lets us grab a shotgun at one point as well, and leads to absolute explosive mayhem. The demo also pulls back on the accuracy needed when aiming, so that if we’re kinda/sorta in the general area then our shots land. Oh, and enemies can accidentally shoot each other, so if we’re lining things up in our runs then they can take each other out and save us some effort.

Plan on dying a lot, because HP is minimal and things move so freaking fast. Untimely death restarts the majority of a level, but by then we’ve learned the locations of where enemies hide and pop up. The demo is only roughly 15 minutes or so, and by the end we’ve managed to clear several floors and areas just by muscle memory alone.

Anger Foot is a mach speed experience that doesn’t hesitate to let us flail wildly and play out our cartoon violence fantasies. It’s a raucously good time, especially on an expo show floor, and a speedrunner’s dream (and a lizard drug dealer’s nightmare).

Anger Foot is due for release this year.

In the short video above, you can listen to me explain why I loved going hands-on with the game at PAX East.

Logo, images, & game video courtesy Free Lives & Devolver Digital.

The game earned a Team Choice Award as one of SideQuesting’s favorite, must-see projects of PAX East 2023.