As it turns out, TikTok isn’t the only popular app ByteDance has in Japan.
As reported by the South China Morning Post, data from mobile analytics company App Annie showed that the martial arts game Combat of Hero, published in Japan by ByteDance-owned Ohayoo, was the most downloaded free iOS app in the country for four straight days starting from March.
At the time of writing, the PeakX Games-made app has dropped to fourth place on the list but is still ahead of other free games. Brain Test: Tricky Puzzles is a fairly close second at #7, but the third most popular free iOS game in Japan is Mario Kart Tour at #23. That’s a pretty big gap.
On the Google Play Store, Combat of Hero is currently placed seventh in Japan, with a game called Park Master ahead of it at #1.
SCMP also noted that the martial arts game had made it into the top ten in countries like South Korea and China at the time, although that was no longer the case when this article was written.
Combat of Hero is a 2D side-scroller where your chibi silhouette dukes it out with other chibi silhouettes. From the videos I’ve seen, you can either smack enemies silly with good old hand-to-hand combat or swing a hefty sword at them. You can also unlock buffs like increased damage and healing boosts.
I didn’t understand the craze when I first saw the sword gameplay, but the hand-to-hand stuff does look pretty cool. The controls are simple too. Pressing the directional arrows will move you towards the corresponding location and make an attack at the same time.
You’re basically just pressing one of two arrows and beating up scores of enemies at the same time, and it feels pretty satisfying despite the simplicity. Imagine One Finger Death Punch but without the “miss” penalty. It’s a good thing I’m not into mobile games, or I’d probably be sucked into the game already.