Sunday, December 4, 2011

Pocket Kung Fu!

This is another one of those games that I have been waiting for for quite a while. I remember the game in it's infancy; paper cards with sharpie marks on them and small scraps of paper to represent items. Even playing like that I loved it. We had countless rules debates and brainstorming in order to help the creator out. Thankfully Jason's vision has finally become a reality. While, you can't necessarily carry it around in your wallet - as was originally intended - the game turned out wonderfully. It is nice to see a finished product of this quality and originality.

The Game
The game it self is very easy to play and learn. Basically each player picks a fighter, and then you take turns pivoting and leaping in order to strike your opponents in one of their vulnerable areas. For being such a simple concept it is amazingly original and fun.

For terrain you just use whatever you have lying around! coffee cups, books, flashlights, miniatures, secret government document's on flash drives, petri dishes containing Ebola, - you know whatever. These are the objects in the room your characters are fighting. There is a cool move in the game called "Flow like water" that allows your character to gain an extra action if they touch a room object. This is suppose to represent your character running and jumping off a wall and the like. It's a lot of fun when you imagine it as your playing.

With regards to strategy the game relies on your ability to judge distance and perform many spacial manipulations in your mind. The game utilizes positioning and movement for pretty much every aspect of it's design. That is to say nothing is left to chance. Your fate is in your own hands, not the dice, not the cards, you.

There are three types of movement in the game that you can use to position your character for the deadly strike. The most basic is the pivot. You simply place your finger on one of the dots on your character's card and spin. Easy enough.
Moving Crane's card forward the length of the rules card is a leap. You can also leap sideways but you only go the width of the card.

The second kind of movmenet is leaping. For this you take your rules referance card and place it next to your card and move your character one card length directly forward, or sideways.

The fourth type of movement is knock back. This is bad if it happens to you. Here your character must be hit by an opponent. you are then essentially forced to leap in the opposite direction of where the character you were hit by. You leap a number of times equal to your damage taken.
Tiger has struck Crane's vulnerable area doing 2 damage

Some Specifics

Your character card will have a number of things on it. The numbers in your corner are the points that you can do damage with, the numbers represent how much. Your character must manuver and touch another character's colored space ( not the black space) with one of these points to inflic damage.

The numbers in the center of your card represent your characters actions and life. The actions are how many movements you can take during a turn.

 Don't be like Aku. Fight your own battles.

The colored area around the edge of the card is your vulnerable point and the black is your block points. If your character is struck on the colored borders of their card they are damaged. If struck in the black no damaged is done.

To win you simply have to reduce your opponent to 0 life or knock them off the table!

Ring out !

There are a few special attacks too. These are wonderful flavor and can be used in only specific circumstances. They have fun names like "chase the humming bird" and the like. They add a little extra umph to the rule set and are super fun when you acutally get to use them.

The good

This game is fun. Period. It is also easy. Period. Original, yup. Since there aren't that many mechanics anyone can play and it also supports any number of players. You can play teams, or free for all.  The game is also quick. You can finish with experianced players in 10-15 minutes. I have had games go for only 5 minutes ( WATCHA my Kung Fu is strong!).

Price is good too. While you only need one set, for under 20 USD you can get both! So easy entrance and quick gaming makes for something that you will definitely get more than your money's worth out of.

The Bad?
Not much really. This game was never designed to be a competitive or tournament play game. It is too fidgety. That is perhaps it's greatest weakness. Since you are moving cards with cards and pivoting things can get a little fidgety. As long as you aren't a jerk though this won't be a problem. I doubt this game will attract that crowd anyway though. There are no power combos or ways to totally spam out your opponent. Just a level playing field. Sorry "that guy", this game probably isn't for you.

That's me! 

 I love it. I am biased though, I mean the character "leaping Eagle" is suppose to be me. How can I not think this game is great. Through no urging of the creator I am going to do something that i don't usually do, I am going to tell you to GO BUY THIS GAME. You can get set one here, and set two here. This is a grass roots game support the indy game designer! In fact, if you buy it and have rules questions, leave a comment and I will shoot you Jason's email if you have rules questions. You can bother the creator directly. Aren't too many games that you can do that hu?

Finally I wanted to give some props to Jason. The game design was all him, the art too. He was a one man game creating machine. He thought of, designed and produced an amazingly effective game. Not an easy feat to do. So Jason this one is for you:

Well until next time I am signing off. Keep jumping those walls ( and popping those Soda's Super Dungeon Explore waaaaaaaaa)

Steve (your local Kung Fu Master)

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