Developer: Januar Tanzil
Price: Free
Version: 1.0.4
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Controls Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

The side-scrolling beat-em-up is a classic gaming genre from the 90s that won’t go away without a fight, and the App Store has its fair share of them.

One thing that stops most of them from being great, however, is repetitive fighting combinations. Fortunately, KungFu Quest dodges this bullet (or shuriken) by enabling players to create their own combos to strategically take apart their opponents. For example, place an uppercut somewhere in the mix and the ability to juggle comes into play, meaning opponents can be taken out in one combo if attacks are timed right. It adds a much needed extra layer of depth to this type of game, adding a tactical aspect to the endless button bashing. The ability to pluck weapons from their stands in the background would be a welcome addition, but otherwise, the attacks are solid. Still, to survive each round is no walk in the park. Players must dodge effectively and time their attacks well if they want to be able to fend off the constant stream of assailants, some of whom are armed with long-range weapons.

20130806-160454.jpgBacked up by Far Eastern tunes and manga visuals, KungFu Quest wears its influences on its sleeve and is all the better for it. The environments look authentic as players make their way further up the towering pagoda housing the 32 levels and 8 different boss fights. To help them in their quest, players can purchase new attacks (which they can they incorporate into their combination sequence) and different costumes for their lone warrior to strut in. Unfortunately though, none of this can help with the repetitive nature of the gameplay, which when combined with the difficulty brought on by the swarm of faceless enemies is frustrating.

KungFu Quest is a playable but ultimately unspectacular game that fails where countless other side-scrolling beat-em-ups have before. There are some new ideas here which should be applauded, including customizable combos and an emphasis on evasive maneuvers, but it’s just not enough. Environments are repetitive, the attacks revert to button-bashing, and the enemies are more of a nuisance than a challenge. Although I loved games like this as a kid (Streets of Rage for life what worked then doesn’t necessarily work now.


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