Memory Required: 48K
Retail Price: £6.95
Language: Machine code
Author: Dusko Dimitrijevic
This is probably the most unusual game to be seen on the Spectrum for a long while, perhaps ever. As its name suggests, the game is a simulation of the noble art of defence and attack. There are two modes of play for one player against the computer, or for two players against each other.
The one and two-player modes each have a different background of suitably oriental design. The playing characters are quite large, animated line drawings which faithfully follow your commands. Four movements are possible, a left arm karate chop, a step forward and block, a right foot front kick and a left foot back kick. Additionally the character may be advanced or retreated.
Below the playing area is an indicator of hits on the computer player. A successful knock out strike results in the hit character collapsing to the ground. The more successful you are on the single player mode, the tougher the computer player becomes to beat. Now everyone has the chance to become a grasshopper...
Control keys: 1, 2, 3, 4 for left player for solo) 6, 7, 8, 9 for right player, with CAPS SHIFT and SYM SHIFT walk left, Z and SPACE walk right
Joystick: Kempston and Sinclair 2
Keyboard play: responsive, key positions work quite well
Use of colour: very good
Graphics: excellent animation
Sound: constant tune (could do with on/off)
Skill levels: progressive difficulty
Kung Fu is a totally original game. The graphics are very large and allow you and a friend to beat hell out of each other. Each of the Kung Fu moves is beautifully animated. As you get better you move up belts, white to yellow etc. The sound is good with a good tune playing continuously. This is very playable and quite addictive. I don't know how long this will keep you occupied, but it's still a good game on the face of it. If you want a change from the usual type of game, this is worth it.
It must be said that this is an exceptional attempt to reproduce a very difficult sport on a computer, and it has been totally successful in achieving its ends. Characters take about half the playing area (in height) and are superbly animated. The option of playing the computer or an opponent is a great asset to this game, allowing friends to join in for a bit of variation. Obviously the person who programmed this game is into Kung Fu as each move is executed the way it should be. The only niggle I've got about the game is that there is no on/off switch for the oriental music which can drive you around the bend. I have mixed feelings about whether this game will be constantly addictive, as it does get repetitive kicking your partner's teeth in or crippling his sex life!
The first thing to strike you about Kung Fu is the lovely graphics. The backgrounds are exactly right, and manage to be quite soothing to watch as you match wits with either computer or a friend. At times the movements of the two characters can look like a piece of ballet. Kung Fu is a brave and almost entirely successful simulation. Perhaps the only complaint in the end might be that once mastered, it would be nice to have some other moves to try out. As it is, this should prove interesting, different and challenging and for its novelty value, worth the money.
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