Fighting Minidrips In Knuckle Sandwich
Screenshot: PC Invasion

Combat tips for Knuckle Sandwich

Deliver a knuckle sandwich to your foes in style

The combat in Knuckle Sandwich is an unholy fusion of Wario’s Smooth Moves and Undertale that I never knew I needed.

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If you want to make it through the game at all, then you’ll need to heed these tips from a guy who’s had his fair share of (digital) knuckle sandwiches.

Knuckle Sandwich’s combat is minigame madness

The most important part of the combat process is dealing with enemy attacks. You’ll need to become a minigame master, because the enemies are pretty strong and will absolutely body you if you keep messing up. Fighting these enemies and seeing such the incredible range of minigames took me back to the beloved Wii game, Wario’s Smooth Moves. So I dusted off my old skills and put them to work.

When an enemy goes to attack one of your characters, they will either get up close and personal to deliver an attack right to your face, or they will initiate a minigame attack.

Fighting Minigame In Knuckle Sandwich
Screenshot: PC Invasion

The personal attacks are honestly the worst. You will need to wait for a signal that will provide you with mere moments before they strike – typically for moderate damage. For any keyboard users out there, this will be trickier, as the effort required to press down on the key will delay your immediate reaction, resulting in you still getting hit even if your reaction was on-time.

To get around these infuriating attacks, apply a small amount of pressure on the “X” key when you’re waiting for their signal. Be it a grin, a stopping of movement, a flash, or even a vibe change, you’ll be able to press that button much quicker and dodge the hit. Don’t feel too bad if this takes getting used to, failing in Knuckle Sandwich isn’t a huge setback.

As for the minigames, which you’ll be playing to evade enemy attacks and even perform your own skills, are the lifeblood of combat. These days, serial minigame experiences aren’t so common, and so it’s a delight to be surprised by different creative and very thematic minigames to play. Each is different and will explain how it works beforehand. It’s then up to you to not only remember the rules, but get good at it.

Like any other minigame experience, your skill and reaction times will sharpen with practice. So if you’re struggling here, you’ll simply have to play again and again! It’s what we did back in the ancient days of the Nintendo Wii, and it’s what you’ll have to do here. Thankfully, it’s fun.

Any enemy attack that you perfectly evade will deal damage to the enemy, which is sometimes much stronger than your normal attack, so it’s well worth learning to evade.

Dealing Damage in Knuckle Sandwich

If you’re out to deal some old-fashioned damage in Knuckle Sandwich (and you can’t summon your goblin yet), then you’ll need to be prepared for some quick-timing reaction gameplay. As you progress through the game, you’ll unlock more of the reaction slider games to deal damage to your enemies.

The first one that you’ll need to master for the early game may seem pretty basic, but is more complex than it seems. Before long, you’ll get two lanes and bombs that will litter the lanes at random. This game isn’t just about hitting “X” when you’re in the moving hit zone for each lane, however. Not only is there a tiny and quick “critical” zone, but also the further along the lane you are when you hit, the more damage you’ll do.

Normal Attack Type In Knuckle Sandwich
Screenshot: PC Invasion

With this knowledge, the game becomes trickier. Because not only must you evade the bombs on the lanes, but you’ll want to make sure you can strike the zone that is closest to the end. Thankfully, you can skip the countdown and start moving immediately and can move the slider faster. This could allow you to quickly speed to the end of the lane if the hit zone is in the prime spot to deal much more damage.

This takes practice, but it allows you to defeat your foes more quickly. Once you’ve got it nailed, you’ll soon start seeing results. Also, it may be worth traveling through a bomb to get to a better position, as they deal extremely small amounts of damage, so may be worth the trade-off for a good hit.

The rest of the attack types are much simpler and merely result in you hitting a series of well-timed hit zones, so they’ll merely come with practice. No tips there, I’m afraid! It’s just the magic of being a minigame master.

Always stay armed

As you discover new items, you’ll come across different knives to help you deal more damage against the creatures that want to pick a bone with you. These knives will sit in your inventory waiting to be held. You can hold two objects, so for maximum damage, you can hold two knives. When you get more members for your party, you can also give these items to them increase their damage output.

My advice would be to give your fellow party members the weaker knives that you’ve replaced. This is because they are generally stronger than you and will keep popping in and out of your party. So you can increase their damage output while getting rid of older equipment, a win-win.

To use your items, or not to?

One aspect of Knuckle Sandwich that I adore is that failure isn’t such a huge deal. Upon defeat, you can either try that battle again or load back to your last save. This means you can try the same battle again and again to improve your skills.

This does throw item usage into question. If you’re anything like me, then the idea of trying again and again to save one consumable is probably the default path. And for Knuckle Sandwich, this is almost encouraged.

Dead In Knuckle Sandwich
Screenshot: PC Invasion

Boss battles are tough, and you may actually want to save all the items you can to get through them. So for regular encounters, I would say to simply keep trying until you get it right (or run away).

This is aided by the free healing station (vending machines) that often appear next to washing machines (save points). You can return any time to heal up, which takes the pressure off your healing items for a bit. Also, any party member that gets knocked out will stay in play, but at 1HP. Meaning, if you’re good enough, they won’t be out of action and will stick around until you heal the party.

So I’d say to preserve your healing items until the big fights that count.

You can always run away

Well, almost. In regular encounters, if you simply can’t be bothered with it, you can run away. Don’t worry, all you’ve gotta do is spam the action button and you will flee not like a coward, but like a strategic genius to who lives to fight another day.

With the run action, you can simply charge through a slew of enemies and run away from every one of them. They’ll be stunned for a few moments, so won’t immediately give chase. So if you’re worried about the constant combat, let this be a comfort.

I hope this list of tips and tricks has been useful to you, and that the next knuckle sandwich you dish out will be meaty indeed.

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Aidan Lambourne
Aidan Lambourne is a contributing writer for PC Invasion, with almost a couple years of experience in the industry. He has written about Roblox extensively, although has keenly covered new releases and indie games. A passionate writer and gamer, he still can't really believe he gets to indulge in both for a career.