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Video Game / Fights in Tight Spaces

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Fights in Tight Spaces is a single-player, turn-based, deckbuilding roguelite based on the moment-to-moment decision making in Fight Scenes. You and your enemies are represented on a small square grid, and possible actions you can take are represented by a hand of cards. With those cards, you must outplay and outwit your opponents to be the last one standing.

In a world where espionage consists mainly of analysts poring over data packets, Section Eleven's role is to find more direct solutions, taking on criminal organizations that fall beyond electronic communication. You are one such agent, tasked with taking a hands-on approach to keeping the peace, via smashing your fist into people's faces and people's faces into other things.

The game was developed by British studio Ground Shatter, published by Mode 7 Games, and released on Steam in Early Access on February 24, 2021, with the full release happening on December 2 that year.


Fights in Tight Spaces contains examples of:

  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: The costs of medical and gym services rise sharply with each subsequent purchase you make in that location. Thankfully, this is only per location, so you'll always have an opportunity to purchase something each time you enter a new location.
  • All Bikers Are Hell's Angels: The first organization you face is the Death's Head biker gang. Their boss is a bearded fellow wearing a vest. Justified in that they're a resurgence of the Nordic Biker Gang wars of the 90's which actually did involve the Hell's Angels.
  • All The Worlds Are a Stage: In the beta final mission, all the organizations you've defeated previously team up, so encounters can consist of any enemies previously encountered and at any location previously visited.
  • Arbitrary Mission Restriction: Each fight has several optional objectives to complete, e.g. finish in a certain number of turns or defeat enemies in a particular way. Completing them earns a variety of rewards like money or stat enhancements.
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  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Agent 11 - as you would expect from an obvious James Bond Expy.
  • Bar Brawl: One of the locations you fight in is a bar. The final battle of the Death's Head Bikers will usually be in one.
  • Bathroom Brawl: You'll often find yourself brawling in a bathroom.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Agent 11 and their handler are black as are the rogue Section Eleven agents, the British Ambassador is yellow, Death's Head mooks are red, Insider mooks are orange, Jade Staff mooks are green, and I Completi mooks are purple.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Agent 11 never goes as far as to use guns, but they're willing to use other things like stun darts, flash powder, and the environment itself to gain a leg up on their opponents.
  • Combat Stilettos: The feminine Agent 11 wears heels, and is just as deadly.
  • Continuing is Painful: You can choose to start on a later mission if you want, but the game warns you that without the upgrades from previous missions, things will be considerably more difficult.
  • Counter-Attack: Some cards let you hit your enemies back if they hit you. The Counter Striker deck is built around these types of cards. Some enemies also have counter-attacks, which can make them an absolute bastard to fight - although it also leads to hilarious displays if you can abuse movement and redirection so that they end up counter-attacking impacts from their own side.
  • Damage Over Time: Some cards and enemies inflict a bleeding status effect, which causes those afflicted to lose health each turn. The Slasher deck centers around using bleed cards.
  • Deadly Dodging: Moving away from an enemy's attack will have them still attack anybody in range. With gun-wielding enemies, you can also make them hit somebody else by dodging their attacks.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Starting with the Insiders level, Agent 11 starts making witty comments about the next mission to their boss. It only comes up in the section openers, although the Taunt card does imply some use of it in combat too.
    Agent 11: (on being sent on an undercover mission into prison) I'm afraid orange isn't my colour.
  • Devious Daggers: Agent 11, being a spy, uses a knife for their bleed-inducing attacks as well as some ranged ones.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: While some mooks bring guns, Agent 11 only uses thrown darts and knives for their ranged attacks.
  • Dressed to Kill: Agent 11 wears a sharp suit while taking on enemies.
  • Elevator Action Sequence: Elevators occasionally pop up as a map in the i Completi chapter. As a 3x3 square, they're the tightest space in the entire game, forcing you to adapt your tactics to it.
  • The End... Or Is It?: The game ends with all of the organization leaders in jail... but the last line has one of them saying "(...and so it begins)".
  • Evil Counterpart: In the full release, the final boss is Agent 11's corrupt predecessor, Agent XI.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: You fist-fight enemies in claustrophobic spaces, as the title suggests.
  • Excuse Plot: There are criminal organizations up to no good and it's up to you to take them out.
  • Fight Like a Card Player: The various actions you can take are represented as cards.
  • Gathering Steam: The basis of the combo mechanic, which raises by one each time you land a blow and goes down when you move. Some cards are more effective at high combo levels, and some require a certain combo level to be useable at all.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: While Agent 11 and a few mooks and bosses use complicated moves, most enemies will stick to bog-standard brawling. That makes them no less dangerous, however.
  • Gratuitous Ninja: The entire point of the Jade Staff section.
    Handler: I wasn't expecting to say this, but Berlin has a bit of a ninja problem.
    Agent 11: Don't we all.
  • Heavily Armored Mook: Certain Elite Mooks can simulate this trope by passively generating high amounts of block per turn to mitigate damage, and a couple will retain any block they've built up between turns. Often, the best way to eliminate them is by Ring Out.
  • Institutional Apparel: The Insiders are a prison gang, their mooks mainly wear jumpsuits, and appropriately their faction color is orange.
  • Jack of All Stats: Your starting deck is a balanced one that mixes offense and defense together.
  • Keystone Army: On a boss mission at the end of an act, the second the boss dies, all the action stops, any remaining queued attacks are aborted, and the player instantly wins, no matter how many other enemies are surrounding them seemingly ready to beat them up. This even applies if the boss merely bled out passively.
  • Kung Fu-Proof Mook: Minibosses are often immune to being Downed, and there's a Jade Staff miniboss who is also immune to friendly attacks, making redirection less useful against him.
  • The Mafia: The Section Eleven boss says that i Completi is a modern take on the Mafia structure and responsible for most of the crimes in the Mediterranean area. Their mission can have you fighting in spaces like suites, sun decks, and hotel rooms.
  • Marathon Boss: Downplayed. The full release's final mission is a long fight with Agent XI and his mercenaries aboard his airplane, and each of the three levels has you fighting him as well. You can rest between scenes, but you have to conserve Agent 11's health as well.
  • No Sympathy Between Mooks: Set a Mook to Kill a Mook applies to all enemies, leading to cases where minions can wind up stabbing or shooting their own lieutenants or boss, just because they were shoved in front of the minions' path.
  • Prison: The second mission has you infiltrating a correctional facility to dismantle a powerful prison gang.
  • Protection Mission: Sometimes, there is a friendly target that you have to protect, usually the British Ambassador. While it's not always required, accomplishing the task can get you an edge in the future.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: You can choose one of two characters to represent Agent 11, and the game remains the same either way.
  • Pushy Mooks: The masked Biker mook attacks with an advancing kick, and the Mystical Ninja has a ranged shove. Both of these will move their target around if they make contact, even if the damage is blocked. However, dodging the attack entirely will also avoid the push.
  • A Rare Sentence: Even Agent 11's boss is surprised to have to tell you that Berlin has a ninja problem.
  • Ring Out: If someone gets pushed out of the level, they're done. Makes sense when you're throwing them off prison walkways or onto subway tracks. Makes a bit less sense when you shove someone out of a public restroom and they pass out rather than just coming back in again.
    • Railing Kill: Some level edges are guarded by railings, making it impossible to tackle or suplex enemies off the edge, but any other push attack will push them over the railing to their doom, in classical fashion. The player can even use a basic sideways shove to flip them over and out.
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: Your enemies are capable of hurting each other with both regular attacks and counters. With clever planning, you can win a battle while throwing only a few of your own blows. Cards that reposition you and/or your enemies like Dodge, Redirect, Grapple, Push and Shove are particularly useful for it, especially when upgraded (since an upgraded Grapple or Redirect costs no momentum to use).
  • Shield-Bearing Mook: A couple of enemies have the special property that they can't be damaged from the front - necessitating that the player move around them and attack from the sides or rear, or throw them onto the floor instead.
  • Situational Damage Attack: Certain moves can deal lots of damage, but require specific circumstances in order to use. For example, Head Smash requires your target to be next to a wall or an object, and Wall Jump Punch requires you to be between a wall and your target.
  • Three-Strike Combo: One attack is three punches delivered in quick succession. Also, most versions start with three Momentum per turn, and pretty much all the attack cards in the Balanced starter use only one Momentum, so you can chain, say, Quick Strike, Quick Kick/Front Kick and Long Strike/Hammerfist into a three-hit sequence that also pushes the enemy away.
  • Unfriendly Fire: Although informants are forced to attack you to keep their cover intact, you can exploit the Deadly Dodging mechanics in order to allow them to attack their "buddies".
  • We Need a Distraction: The i Completi will pull this on you, as their bartenders will weaken you with distracting bartending tricks.
  • A Winner Is You: Complete the final mission, and you're treated to a scene where the leaders of the organizations you've felled are in prison, while the Section Eleven boss congratulates you on your work.