Kung-Fu Master starts out as randomly as the rest of a game: by a kidnapping from complete strangers with absolutely no motive at all. So what is a martial arts hero like Thomas gonna do when random thugs decide to kidnap his girlfriend, Sylvia? He decides that it is time to introduce the bad guys to his fists (and feet). Players get to take one 5 challenging floors of near-endless bad guys and armed with a flurry of kicks and punches (basically, spamming the attack buttons) you must tear through them all to get to the top floor and rescue Sylvia.
Hey, That Looks Familiar
Most martial arts fans would immediately say that this game looks visually a lot like Bruce Lee's Game of Death (where Bruce Lee takes on a tower full of fighters and defeats a master on each floor). And while that is perfectly logical, this game is actually based on a Jackie Chan movie, Wheels on Meals (and yes, the ending of the film does involve a lead character named Thomas trying to save a girl named Sylvia by fighting in a tower).
Gamers, on the other hand, would instantly peg this as the game that started the trend for side scrolling beat-em-up games; and it was. The game was developed by the same person who would later work on Capcom's very first Street Fighter iteration before movFatal Fury, Art of Fighting, and King of Fighters. So yes, this arcade game is basically the root of both side-scrolling beat-em-ups and fighting games (to a degree anyway).
Plenty to Punch
Punches are pretty short range but are really powerful against bosses, kicks have great range but are slightly weaker. Combining these two offensive strengths will be the key to conquering all five floors of this insane challenge. The game features a near endless supply of bad guys coming in from left and right to attack you. And while players have a life bar that has to be depleted before they are defeated, the vast types of enemies can be pretty hard to deal with.
Aside from the typical goons, there are small ones which are acrobatic and try to grab you. The knife throwers on the other hand send out projectiles that must be dodged. The even numbered stages also present a range of strange environmental hazards such as falling pots and vases that house hostile creatures (which may or may not include a fire breathing little dragon).
The good news is that kicks and punches are more than enough for all these baddies, you just need to keep an eye on the timing and be careful when advancing forward in order to be able to deal with enemy waves properly. Spawns are random, so always stay alert.
Kung Fu Master is a great arcade game to pound on -and it provides much of the same excitement as many karate browser games out there (our personal favorite is Kungfu Grandpa). Sure, the battles can get frustrating at times, but as long as you focus on the combat and enjoy the game, you will be beating all five floors soon enough (which is a great thing, since doing so will unlock another five levels which are much harder, and then a third version which is the most difficult).