Kung Fu Kickball (Review)

Feb 9, 2022

Published by: Blowfish Studios

Developed by: WhaleFood Games

Reviewed on: Xbox Series X

Release Date: 2/10/2022

Sports games are nothing new to video gaming, dating back to some of the earliest video games that were popular in the mainstream. In 2015, a new type of sports game caught wind; a genre of fictional sports games powered by the wide success of Rocket League.  Since then, a number of games have tried to be a part of this genre. Kung Fu Kickball is definitely one of those, mixing up an interesting clash of a Kung Fu fighting game, something similar to soccer. 

The Basics

The core idea of the game is a really simple one. Your goal is to hit a ball into the opponent’s bell, while defending your own. To do this, you can punch the ball, kick the ball, or use one of 2 special moves. For the most part, the controls are pretty solid, but can feel kind of jerky at moments.  Another way to score is just simply running into the ball, but this is likely to get you beat up. You can also use these same moves on your opponent, to knock them down/out for a short period of time. A mix of these two strategies is the key to success.

If the front flip is the “meta defining feature” of Rocket League, then this game’s version is the tele-dash; which is an ability that allows you to teleport a short distance, and get to the other side of the ball without hitting it. Kung Fu Kickball matches are 3 minutes long and can be played 1v1 or 2v2. A tutorial is included, but it only goes over the very basics of the game and could use a little more fleshing out. There are custom matches where many of these settings can be changed (more on that below).

Lots of Variety

At the present moment, the game has 6 different maps to play on, and they all vary pretty significantly in terms of gameplay. They have different terrains that make you change up your play style and strategy pretty significantly. In one map, you may be able to just walk the ball right into the bell, whereas in another, you will have to kick the ball midair to build any real momentum. A few of the maps have a few dynamic effects in them that can add another shake-up to the regular match.

Additionally, there are a few different types of balls you can play with (in custom matches only at present) that really change up the entire game. My personal favorite was the puffer fish, which sticks the ball to your character until an opponent hits you or the ball. There are also a variety of characters, each with their own special move. While these were nice, there wasn’t enough difference between each of them to really matter all that much. Ultimately, there is only one core game mode, but the modifiers keep it engaging. 

The Looks and Sounds

If you are into a 2D art style, this is your game to play. The game looks and runs absolutely beautifully. The maps each have a colorful pop to them, and the game runs buttery smooth (on next-gen hardware). The foreground looks great, and the backgrounds are also worth a second look. It is highly evident that a lot of time was put into the art. The music is of the same quality, and there was never a song that I wished I could skip. The game is as fun to play as it is to look at. 

Kung fu kickball: a mashup i didn’t know i wanted

Going into this game, I didn’t know exactly what to expect, but coming out I was pleasantly surprised. It was an overall fun experience, with enough variety for you and your friends to keep playing for quite some time. This is a game that is easy to learn, and hard to master. If you are looking for a quick game to play with little time commitment and a good bout of fun, I recommend you take a look at Kung Fu Kickball.

Score: 7.8

Add your voice!Join the conversation on Discord...