Kung Fu Fighting game
by Tom Warin
Kung Fu Fighting
Number of players:
Kung Fu Fighting is fairly easy to pick up, more strategic than you might expect and a lot of fun. A willingness to spout martial arts cliches at every turn is not required, but certainly make a session more enjoyable.
The game and gameplay
Kung Fu Fighting is a fighting card game. Unlike Brawl, which is a two-player game that plays out in real time, this game is turn based and supports up to six players.
Cards are divided into “Attacks”, “Weapons”, “Attack Modifiers”, “Blocks”, “Stances” and “Chi Restoration”. Each player starts the game with 20 Chi (Life Force) and is eliminated from the game when they lost their last point of Chi.
At the beginning of a player’s turn, they draw and/or exchange cards until they have 7 cards in their hand. They may carry out one attack during their turn, and play any number of other cards.
For example, a player could deploy a Weapon and Stance that offer offensive benefits (Weapon and stance cards remain attached to a player until lost due to an attack or discarded by the player), then attack another player, and then switch to a different weapon or stance that may offer a defensive bonus.
There are a number of different attacks: Punch, Kick, Trip, Throw, and assorted Weapons. Attack modifiers add efficacy to the attack by applying adjectives such as “flying” or “fast” to the attack. When attacked, a player can use Block cards to evade the attack and/or counterattack.
Different Stance and Weapon cards convey different advantages and disadvantages, and some of the strategy comes from deciding which of these cards to play. Attacking players with fewer cards gives you a greater chance of your attack not being blocked. We were surprised at how many attacks were blocked during the game. There is a large portion of luck from the drawing of random cards.
Pros and cons
The art on the cards is attractive and they are made from high-quality, glossy materials. The basics of the game were easy to grasp for all of the players, but there was more depth than we were initially expecting.
The game lasted for longer than expected, around 45 minutes to an hour for a 4-player game, in part due to the number of block cards in the deck relative to the number of attack cards. When the number of active players had been reduced to two, it seemed that almost every attack was being blocked. The eliminated players enjoyed watching the last two sparring at the end, but if it had gone on for too much longer then they would have become bored.
The theme of the game is great, and really added to the overall experience. By the end, players were throwing down their attacks like Kung-Fu masters and blocking with a studied nonchalance.
There is an expansion deck called ‘More Kung-Fu Fighting’. A full examination of the expansion will come in another review, but at first glance it addresses the concerns that I have about the basic game, by introducing a greater proportion of attack cards and the concept team play, so that players are not reduced to spectators.
This is a really fun game. It is notable that more than one player remarked after the fact that they thought it was really good; something that does not often happen after a play testing session.
If you have a gaming group with even a passing interest in pummeling each other with kung-fu moves, then the Kung Fu Fighting game is well worth a look. It is probably easier on the body and the wallet than starting a real life ‘Fight Club’.