One Strike is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a fast paced arcade fighter where you have one hit to win or lose. There are several game modes and characters available, but the one thing in common is that they all only have one hit point. If the opponent manages to make contact, you lose.
Fortunately, there’s more depth to it than just who can push the attack button first. You also have a block or parry option, as well as the ability to dash forward and backward. The challenge comes from balancing all of these abilities against those of your opponent, waiting for the open window to strike.
Characters have varying abilities as well. Some have an additional attack that substitutes for the block/parry ability. Others are only able to dash backward instead of forward. Some attacks are close range, and others are more effective from farther away. There’s surprising mechanical depth across the roster of available characters.
The simple pixel style graphics may be a turn off to some, but I found the aesthetic charming, at least in the beginning. This definitely isn’t a game I’ll be sinking hundreds (or even tens) of hours into, but for the under five bucks price point, it definitely is enjoyable for what it is.