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4-D Boxing

aka: 4D Sports Boxing
DOS Specs [ all ]
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Description official descriptions

4-D Boxing leaves behind any pretences of being a pure arcade game based on boxing and aims to recreate the sport in full detail. The graphics engine allows for multiple camera angles and viewpoints, and considerably detailed visuals. These required more advanced hardware than was common at the time, but a stick-figure mode was included as a compromise. The moves on offer include all the uppercuts and hooks of a real fight, and the players are designed to move realistically to implement them.

You progress through the game by taking on a succession of increasingly difficult fighters and get to train your boxer in between. Advanced action replays are included as well, so you can review all that happened.

Spellings

  • 4Dボクシング - Japanese spelling

Groups +

Screenshots

Promos

Credits (DOS version)

29 People (27 developers, 2 thanks) · View all

Created by
  • Distinctive Software Inc.
Original Concept
Design
Programming
Additonal Design
Graphics & Animation
Sound & Music
Executive Producer
Producers
Software Testing
Quality Assurance
Boxing Consultant
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 75% (based on 18 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 59 ratings with 4 reviews)

No other PC game has captured the feel of boxing as well as 4D Boxing.

The Good
The 3D engine in 4D Boxing was not a gimmick; at the time, it truly was a whole new way to simulate boxing in a computer game. The camera wasn't fixed--you could play through the eyes of your boxer, from ringside, from a fixed isometric view, overhead, whatever. You could even play through the eyes of your opponent. It's a real trip to stare yourself in the face as you beat "yourself" up.

The moves were rotoscoped fairly well, leading to life-like movements, swings, hooks, and uppercuts.

The Bad
Dialing down the detail to a ludicrously low level (stick figures without heads) was the game's idea of "running acceptably on an 8088". I had a 386, so I was fine, but it made playing the game against a friend difficult if your friend had a slow machine. The price we pay for innovation...

While most of the moves looked realistic, jabs were oddly unrealistic.

It was rediculously easy (although quite fun) to beat the computer in the first ten or so matches by swinging non-stop roundhouse right and left hooks to the face. (And disturbingly satisfying to hear each punch land. :-)

The Bottom Line
4D Boxing had a feel that no other computer boxing game has captured since, even 8 years after it's release. While there have been a few console boxing games that come close (including one for 3D0 that was heavily influenced by 4D Boxing), nothing satisfies the need to box like 4D Boxing.

And it runs great on modern machines, so try to pick up a copy.

DOS · by Trixter (8947) · 1999

A simple, classic free-form action game with skill-building elements

The Good
The game has an incredible feeling of freedom because of the free-form nature of movements and controls. It sort of resembles the feeling of games like Die By the Sword. You can't control the direction and swing of your arms but you can put together combos very freely in a way that captures the feel of boxing, even though the animations are sort of odd.

To me, pure action games with characters that have the same abilities all through the game are not always that interesting. I usually have more interest in games that let me start out with a weak character and build him up, and this game is one of those. There are boxing skills that you can train and improve in between matches, so not only do you climb your way up in rank due to your skills as a player, your character also can grow to become more powerful in the way that you choose (feels like leveling up in an RPG).

The Bad
Many people complained about the graphics, but I thought they were simplistic in a charming way (a lot like Alone in the Dark). Still, anyone who plays this game now for the first time would probably be horrified by the boxy 35 polygon (I'm guessing) characters.

The Bottom Line
Overall this is a classic game that combines character building with an extremely addictive free-form style of action. It would be a shame to overlook this one.

DOS · by John Lucas (12) · 2005

Wow! This game was and still is great

The Good
The movement was way ahead of its time and is still fluid and smooth by today's standards. It ran on a 386 and was fast action with a floating camera. I would love to see this game remade with better models and textures, but keep the gameplay identical.

The Bad
I still have it on 5.25" disks with a pristine manual but I cannot install it without dismantling my PC to temporarily install a drive. I think the copy protection would prevent it from being backed up on my hard drive. =)

The Bottom Line
Great. If you can find it, try it out.

DOS · by sean squier (1) · 2001

[ View all 4 player reviews ]

Trivia

Humour

The game didn't take itself very seriously. For example, the game package stated that the (low-polygon) boxers had "faces only a mother could love", and some examples of the boxers' names are "Duster Bugreport", "Biggus 'Stinky' Bonus", "Ugotabe Kidding", "Sadie Mazo-Chisholm", "Ivan Orrible Attitude", "Mohamed Ali Baba" or "Phlatulent 'Ffft' Phil".

References

On the Create a Boxer feature, there was a good selection of different heads to choose. Two of them were directly inspired by the two main characters on Dire Straits' "Money For Nothing" music video, which also featured tridimensional computerized characters.

Rotoscoping

"Rotoscoping" means that the moves for the boxers were taken from real footage of boxing moves. The resulting movements are fairly lifelike.

Sound

4D Boxing used the digital channel of the Sound Blaster to play the drum track of all the music passages (the remaining 9 FM channels were used for notes). A unique concept that DSI used in a few more games before they were absorbed into EA.

Taunt

One of the actions in the game was "taunt", which includes waving a first in the air, making the "come get me" gesture, even a backflip. It's really funny to look at.

Awards

  • ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment)
    • March 1991 (issue #42) - Included in the list Greatest Games of all Time in category Sports Simulations (editorial staff choice)

Additional information contributed by Daniel Saner, Jiguryo and Kasey Chang

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Brian Hirt.

Macintosh added by Kabushi. Amiga added by Martin Smith. FM Towns, PC-98 added by Terok Nor.

Additional contributors: Trixter, Daniel Saner, Martin Smith, Patrick Bregger, Rik Hideto, Jo ST.

Game added July 8th, 1999. Last modified August 14th, 2023.