Turn-based Fighting Game Your Only Move Is Hustle Breaks the Genre Down to Its Basics

Games Features Fighting Games
Turn-based Fighting Game Your Only Move Is Hustle Breaks the Genre Down to Its Basics

Your Only Move is Hustle is easily one of the most interesting fighting games out there and it’s immediately obvious as soon as one boots up a match. It has all of the hallmarks of a fighting game: multiple characters with varied movesets, combos, a high/low block system and meter management. This is why it may be surprising to find out that Y.O.M.I. Hustle is entirely turn-based. All of the actions that one would take in a fighting game are done on a timer similar to speed chess before it plays out in real-time, adding to a unique if slightly hard-to-learn fighting game.

The easiest way to describe the game to a non-fighting game player would be “It’s like those stick fighting animations you’d see on Newgrounds but playable.” Hustle has four characters right now all of which fit into existing fighting game archetypes. Ninja is the standard hyper-aggressive rushdown character, Cowboy is the requisite sword user with disjointed hitboxes, Wizard is the long-ranged zoner that all of your friends will hate you for playing, and Robot is the high-damage grappler that your friends will also hate you for playing. It’s a bit early to say how balanced these characters are but they all feel unique and incredibly rewarding to play during the moment-to-moment gameplay.


The basic match of Your Only Move is Hustle starts like a traditional fighter, with both players in neutral a short distance away from each other. Each character will have their own unique moveset, but there are some universal mechanics such as blocking, dodge rolling, moving, jumping and canceling attacks, all of which are turn-based. Actions will occur at the same time, so if Player A inputs a punch and then Player B inputs a high block both would happen at the same time after both players commit to their actions. This forms the basis of its gameplay, but the fighting game intricacies warp the strategies quite a bit. Frame data is king, as with a traditional fighting game, and in this game’s case, you are locked into your action until your recovery frames end. Make no mistake, at the end of the day it’s still a fighting game.

This turn-based gameplay may definitely be off-putting to some, especially to players who are less experienced with fighting games. The UI displays each character’s entire moveset, complete with frame data which can overwhelm even veterans of the genre. The game’s genius solution to this is the fact that it will show you the results of your input before you lock it in, giving even new players a fighting chance if they can figure out the best option. It’s still a lot to take in, but it makes the new player experience slightly easier.


Despite the turn-based presentation, it’s still a fighting game, so fighting game fundamentals are key. Playing good neutral, crafting mind games, maintaining a good defense and knowing frame data is still the name of the game, the only difference now is that the strategy revolves more around thinking ahead of your opponent than reaction speed. It’s as if chess was a fighting game.

The most thrilling part of the game is definitely the ending sequence after the round is over. It shows the turn-based battle in real-time, which looks as glorious as the previously mentioned stick figure animations of old. True catharsis is watching a teleport-filled battle between a wizard and a ninja complete with magical swords, shurikens, and geysers flowing from every direction. If you ever wanted something that makes you feel like a shonen protagonist, this may be the game for you.

For $4.99 Yomi Hustle is probably the most fun one will have while losing to someone better than them online.

Desmond Leake is an intern for Paste’s games section.

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