Kung Fu Fighting17 Nov 2004 0
Nothing livens up an evening at the gaming table like a sharp blow to the head. Kung Fu Fighting from Slugfest Games delivers just that, along with a swig of fortified rice wine to boot. This crisp, little card game doles out dollops of grievous bodily harm in 30 minutes of play as it pits two to six players in mortal Kung Fu combat where a chair or a hand fan can mean certain death. It?s nothing short of a Hong Kong cinema throwdown played with cards, which is to say that this game strikes a pleasing blend of strategy, good fortune, and mindless fun.
Packed away in a sturdy box no larger than an oversized trade paperback, Kung Fu Fighting is a tidy package that travels well. This is a good thing, and I?ll explain why later. The basic components include a deck of 99 cards, six player mats, and six chi markers that track the health of the Kung Fu fighters.
Just as it should be, the card art is a real draw. Although seemingly limited by black, white, and brown tones, the combat depictions on the cards evoke the fluidity of a sound thrashing served up martial arts-style. After a while, I found the lack of color appealing. The art design has depth, as each image is superimposed over a matte of Chinese characters and framed by four bamboo poles. The more I played, the more I liked it. My only concern is that the cards could have been printed on heavier stock. The jury is still out as to how long they?ll stand up over prolonged play and shuffling.
One design choice that Slugfest Games nailed in the solar plexus was printing all the relevant gameplay information on each card. The game?s single sheet of rules can be kept in the box when imparting the secrets of Kung Fu Fighting to others, which can be done in under ten minutes. Matters of game mechanics are clearly marked on each card, and thus the game is quite self-contained in this regard.
Six player mats are included with the game, one for each possible combatant, and follow the same color scheme of the cards. The stock upon which they are printed is sturdy, which should weather the sliding of glass chi stones and overall tabletop well enough over time.