Beat the Art Breaker is a game about dashing around and punching folks. It’s not done yet, but a new playable demo gives a glimpse at an indie game that has a fast and exciting take on hand to hand combat.

Beat the Art Breaker is designed by Jesse Burnett, whose work I’ve shared before. It drops the player in the middle of a city of incredibly punchable monsters and explorable buildings. Wandering the cartoon city is relaxing. but the real draw here is the combat, which feels a little bit like pixelated God Hand. The camera rests over the player’s shoulder as they rush up to enemies and smack them with their fists. Enemies signal their attacks with a large transparent sphere. If you’re standing within that sphere, they’ll hit you in the next few seconds. A quick dodge lets you weave in and out of this radius. Fights against more aggressive enemies develop a distinct rhythm. You dash and punch, fall back, smack a fireball, dash in, dodge, punch twice, shift, and repeat. Every punch lands with a satisfying thwap!

One of the best things about playing Beat the Art Breaker is finding its secrets and small touches. Sometimes that means walking down an alleyway to find a secret power-up. Other times it’s realizing that you can just punch those fireballs instead of dodging them. These tiny discoveries add flavor and encourage the player to experiment and explore.

You can play the demo version of Beat the Art Breaker on Window PC. It’s an early build, but if this is any indication, it’s going to be a lot of fun.