App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
It's great when we see new ideas and innovation brought to iOS gaming. The slingshot mechanic may be nothing new, in fact it's part of biggest iOS game ever, but in a genre that is usually plagued by difficult controls and dodgy d-pads it's a refreshing change. To launch an attack in KungFu Jumpu, players must choose one of 4 possible moves, pull back on their character, and estimate their trajectory while predicting their opponents next move. The character then leaps into air and (hopefully) crashes with the opponent in a flurry of exchanges, complete with electric flashes, slow-motion, and stylistic red-on-black silhouettes.
The visuals are old-school and work well, the static artwork in particular providing some classic Japanese backdrops to the action. The influences on KungFu Jumpu are laughably blatant, from the energy balls, to the jumping uppercuts, to the Bruce Lee wannabe in his yellow tracksuit. Fortunately, none of it takes anything away from the fun. There are 10 characters in total, each with their own unique long and short range attacks.
There can be a lot of jumping around during a fight, where no-one makes a connection. Whilst it can be somewhat frustrating, it's an important part of the gameplay. Characters will whisk by each other hit nothing but air, only to then land in a new position that means a change of attack type. Unfortunately, players are limited to one mode to begin with. In order to play the Campaign, players must earn 3000G in Arcade mode, which is by no means an arduous task, but it seems a bit strange when most fighting games offer both modes from the get-go. However, once it is unlocked, the Campaign menu contains a multiplayer mode, upgradable characters and extra challenge stages. It's a great amount of content for the asking price.
Overall, the gameplay and controls feel natural and are a perfect fit for touch devices, which are hardly the ideal format for fighting games, let's be honest. It's a mechanic that simply works, and one which is hard to believe hasn't been used in the genre before. For that, and despite the silly name, KungFu Jumpu deserves a download in my opinion.