A genuinely interesting take on the one-on-one fighting game, Slice, Dice and Rice has ended up perhaps one of the most realistically deadly brawl games you’ll ever play. Instead of seeing ordinary human beings magically get up again after being smashed in the face with a fire hydrant, Slice, Dice and Rice sees every fight end with just one well-timed, well-aimed blow.

There are no health bars in the game at all. Instead, you have just one hit to end your opponent. You have to find the chink in their armour and aim true.

This might sound like an overly simplistic reduction of a tried and true game format, but Slice, Dice and Rice has retained enough challenge to be a genuinely fun game.

It still takes a fair amount of skill to get right. You need to have good timing, you need to be able to dodge out of the way of some very skilled enemy fights and you need to be able to figure out your opponent’s strategy pretty quickly. The game removes the need to remember long strings of combinations for special moves, but replaces it with the kind of tension that you usually only experience during the tightest of battles.

It’s the kind of game that is easy to pick up and more difficult to master than you might imagine. It’s also very fast-paced, which means it’s great for picking up a playing for short bursts when you just feel like slashing something apart.

The art style is beautiful. It’s dark, with fluid animation that makes every kick and swing of a sword look incredible.

Geysers of offensively bright blood explode out of you and your opponents throughout the game, contrasting violently against the muted but wonderfully detailed backgrounds. If you’re looking for over-the-top levels of gore, you will love Slice, Dice and Rice and the opportunity it affords you to punch someone into a dozen pieces that fly in an explosion of blood into every corner of the screen.

The story mode isn’t a story mode in the traditional sense. It’s more of a tournament with a few lines of backstory for each character, rather than a grand adventure that tells you a significant amount about the game world.

But it is enjoyable, and the added of layer character development is a nice touch. Plus it’s an interesting way to get to play around with – and against – the different skills and styles of each character. The variety is decent enough that players of all fighting preferences are guaranteed to bond with at least one.

Slice, Dice and Rice

Slice, Dice and Rice is not the game to play if you’re looking for a complex or emotional storyline. But that should probably be evident from the box art alone.

As the brutal fighting game that it claims to be, it’s done exactly what it set out to do.