|Min OS X: 10.6|
|Kung Fu Killforce|
March 2, 2012 | Jon Carr
Mac OS X: 10.6.6
Review:"Your kung fu is strong, but is it strong enough to withstand the carnage of the KUNG FU KILLFORCE?"
This is the question the game poses to you in the description. It also aptly sums up the game's challenge while revealing its playful tone. Created by indie dev Justin Fic, Kung Fu Killforce won multiple awards at the last uDev game contest and now has become a full fledged release on the Mac App Store.
Set in a one room dojo arena with platforms to jump on, you play as "a kung fu stud" fighting against waves of ever increasing and various kung fu enemies who you must defeat with one of six martial art styles. Blood, effects, body parts and awesome arcade action ensue.
The game is simple but very entertaining. It offers two different control sets to use which are easy to learn. You can jump, attack or use a special ability. All of these can also be used in combinations to perform different moves and attacks. Every style offers a slightly or significantly different mode of play. You always start out in Tiger style, but must pickup kung fu scrolls that drop to change styles afterwards. My favorite is Mantis which lets you cling to walls as well as zip around very fast with your special move. Other fun styles are Dragon, which lets you throw shurikens, or Crane, which lets you have infinite air specials. Sometimes it's too easy to accidentally change a style in the heat of action, but overall this works well.
Enemies start off on the ground but quickly move on to different schools who can jump and flip just as well as you can. Some foes float around on clouds or relentlessly pursue you with vicious blows. There's even a mini-boss with a chainsaw that shows up every now and then. The schools seem to cycle but the variety keeps things fresh.
Every now and then a big diamond will drop which you can pickup for big points, but also increased difficulty. So, in a sense you can determine how difficult your game is. If you keep picking up the diamonds, the game keeps going on and gets very hard. If you ignore the diamond all together, it doesn't take long for the boss to come out and fight you. Other drops are "crazy juice," which when you pick up enough sends you into berserker mode, and a piece of chicken, which serves as a health refill.
Visually speaking the game is retro style with intentionally pixelated graphics and characters, but it looks good. The animations are entertaining as is all the on screen effects and comic book style "biff, boom, pow" going on when you hit enemies. Audio is also strong with good music and suitably punchy sounds. You can play in fullscreen or windowed mode. My only complaint would be there's no widescreen support, but that is a minor concern.
There's no particular goal to the game other than to survive as long as possible and get the highest score. There's nothing complex about it and the game is everything it tries to be. There's no two player or multiplayer of any kind, but that doesn't hurt the game either. It plays extremely well on a keyboard, and its retro graphics mean just about any computer in the last several years can run it.
At heart Kung Fu Killforce is a retro arcade beat-em-up that offers a lot of instant gratification. It won't ever keep you playing for long at a time, but it's so easy to open and play that I love using it as a break between work, or when I want something quick and fun. For $3 it's absurdly easy to recommend and any Mac gamer who has an interest should pick it up.
• Entertaining kung fu arcade action
• Very easy to pickup and play
• Great retro graphics and music
• Sometimes too easy to change styles by accident
• No widescreen support
Jon Carr is an IMG writer who also hosts the MacGameCast and enjoys conducting interviews, previews and writing all the features he can think of. When not reviewing games or scheming world domination, he's probably playing a new game in Bootcamp or keeping up on all the latest game and tech news. He builds websites for a living but spends all the time he can furthering the Mac game community.