Kang Fu logo CD32

Reviewed by Andy Maddock

When I first saw Kang Fu there was something special about it. Okay, so the first demo wasn't particularly brilliant, but there was something there, even though I couldn't quite put my finger on it. It wasn't the graphics, sound or even the playability... Oh yes, I remember now! It came on a CD!

Kang Fu must be the first proper CD game since Cannon Fodder. Nobody took much notice of the CD32 so developers avoided it like the plague. However, a new software house called 'GREED', or Great Effects Development, from Holland is here with a bouncy-like platform game.

The actual game is all about kangaroos. I have no idea why, so don't ask. The object of the game is to travel around the world rescuing all the baby kangaroos who managed to get lost. However, there are many evil animals trying to stop you. These range from cockerels, wasps and crocodiles to lots of bizarre things like flying umbrellas and sticks of rock.

There are loads of power-ups and bonuses lying around, such as pop-guns, eggs, bombs and bottles of Coca Cola with which to replenish your energy. You can also just wander about collecting diamonds to boost your points total if you wish, although the main objective is to rescue the baby kangaroos.

At the end of each stage you will encounter a huge end-of-level guardian, which takes too many hits to dispose of. This is a great feature which has bee sadly lacking since the old console days. It will really give you a sense of satisfaction when you finish the level.

Overall, the graphics and the animation in particular are really good. From the main movement of the kangaroo sprites to the animation of drinking and picking up objects you will be really impressed. The enemies are equally as good.

The presentation is excellent, and there are a great number of options available. The introduction sequence explains the game well, and is accompanied by lots of gratuitous pictures of kangaroos in various fields,. Which is nice.

The only problem is the playability. It's certainly not as good as it should be, although the graphics more than make up for the slight glitches. At times there can be too much on-screen at once, causing major confusion, and it's very challenging. You'll have to be a platform master to finish this one.

If you fancy giving your CD32 a new lease of life, you won't go far wrong with Kang Fu. It's certainly one of the better platform games to come out over the last six months.

Rolf Harris

If you fancy getting your hands on Kang Fu, you'll need the following address:
ALTER Interservice, Hagegracht 68, 7607 EE, Almelo, The Netherlands
You can fax them on (+31)546 817727, or mail them on mpelt@a1.nl if you need any information.

Kang Fu logo CD32

It's like this you see: there's a kangaroo who does Kung Fu, so there's a kind of joke in the name. Andrea explains all to Andy Smith...

Somebody has spent an enormous amount of time and effort working on the graphics in Kang Fu - especially the background graphics and the digitised pics of famous and not-so-famous buildings from around the world - and I really hope it was a labour of love for them, because otherwise they've completely wasted their time.

This game is dreadful. It's not Kick Off 3 dreadful (AF90: 9%), but it's getting that way. You're a kangaroo in a platform game, essentially. I have no idea why you're a kangaroo and I've no idea why the kangaroo (called Klont) is quite so badly drawn.

You appear to be wearing braces holding up your blue shorts. These are attached to one side, over your back and down the other side, with nothing to stop the braces falling off. And why you've got this tail sticking out the bottom of your shorts I'll never know.

But it's not like it's just Klont who's badly drawn. All the sprites are awful. The big cut-outs of gorillas and robots that appear as end and mid level guardians may not be so badly presented, but they're just as comic as they move around the screen and try to attack you in a Terry Gilliam Monty Python animation style.

I'm sure the game creators are doing something very clever to get the mix of digitised images and Dpaint sprite but again, they've wasted their time.

I'm shaking my head when I think about Kang Fu and I haven't even started on the shambolic gameplay yet. You move around platforms, which actually consist mainly of buildings and plants and trees, collecting jewels and fruit and trying to avoid or destroy the hundreds of baddies (ranging from green chaps with pikes to bendy sticks of rock). And to get to the tantalising bunch of jewels up there in the sky? Jump on top of a tree of course.

Still, those wacky chaps at GREED have given you loads of weapons to pick up and use against the enemy. That's if you want to pick them up and don't just romp around bouncing on their heads to kill 'em. Everything from machine guns to eggs can be thrown at the baddies (and yes, as you might by now suspect, the eggs are more effective).

But it's not just weapons that need to be collected, keys should be picked up whenever you come across them because they enable you to get to other parts of the level. And there are also loads of little kangaroos (Joey's I believe?) running about which you should pick up and stuff in your pouch. If you collect 10 Joey's then you are rewarded with an extra life.

But you can't wait to bung this in the machine and fire it up can you? No, I bet you can't. It's not worth getting hold of this no matter how desperate you are for a new CD32 game - it's not even worth getting hold of just so you can laugh at it. Amiga games used to be and most still are, great.

This is THE machine for gameplay, everyone knows that and there can't be any excuse for software of this lamentable standard appearing in the latter half of 1996. If it had appeared in 1986 it would be forgivable (it still wouldn't score very well, but at least you could appreciate what they were trying to do), but nowadays it looks and plays like a joke.

The only really good thing is that the game comes from Holland. From this address in fact: Kang Fu, ALTER Interservice, Hagegracht 68, 7607 EE Almelo, the Netherlands. And hopefully just having to write that out on an envelope will prove to be too much effort, so you won't bother. Especially when you stop and remember that you've got to write a cheque out as well and put that in the envelope as well.

Maybe Great Effects Development will get it all right in Kang Fu 2 (which would have to be a completely different game if it were to score any higher than this lamentable effort), bu if that ever comes into the office when we've got some good Reader Games to look at guess which one's going to be waiting 'til last?

Kang Fu logo CD32

Price: £24.99 + P&P Publisher: Greed Contact: ALTER interservice Halgegracht 68 7607 EE Almelo the Netherlands

Yyes, indeed, it's cutesy platformer time once again. After two years of development, Kang Fu a colourful action/platformer from Great Effects Development (GREED) in Holland is here.

The game's plot is simple enough. Skippy's Dutch cousin has to find or collect as many baby kangaroos as possible as he hops through the landscapes to the exit. Lots of nasties such as cockerels, dragons, wasps and even flying umbrellas are out to stop him though.

Luckily, our hero Klont, being your all-dancing, all-kicking, highly maneuverable kangaroo, has loads of specialised clever moves. By waggling the joystick you can get him to deliver a few specialised kicks and punches. And you've got a handy arsenal of weapons such as guns, eggs and bombs at your disposal. The gameplay is promising but never gets above that of a sub-standard dated platformer.

Graphically Kang Fu is a complete mess, as you can see from these screenshots. The green, purple and brown colour scheme is like a visual equivalent of smelling salts. If that wasn't enough to give you a raging headache then the jerky sprites and scrolling are sure to finish the job.

Despite all of this I still managed to glean some fun from this rather sad little game. Maybe it's just the universal appeal of a platform game that won me over, or maybe it's my love of marsupials that is to blame.

If you're not so fascinated by kangaroos and would rather retain the sight in both your eyes, this is probably not for you. However, interested parties should contact the address above as at the moment it has no official UK supplier. By the way, it's not CD32 compatible, which is a shame.