Kung Fu Pets Feels Like a Jack Black Movie
Kung Fu Pets takes the monster taming genre and adds a distinctive "this is oriental" label to everything -even going as far as giving all the creatures questionably named martial arts abilities and setting the location into some fictional place named "Xiaolin". Now before anyone starts jumping to a tirade about racial stereotypes, the game is much less a spoof and more of a children's take on the culture (of anthropomorphic animals performing martial arts). If Kung Fu Panda can get away with that, Pets can too. The whole kung fu theme is spread out across the game like a sticky coat of paint, but that's easy to forgive thanks to the silliness of it all. Continue Reading
Release Date: 05/11/2014
Available on: iOS, Android
Build or Battle?
For the most part, Kung Fu Pets is a building game -the fact that you eventually unlock animal martial artists adds a some real spice to the game. But the core of the gameplay lies in gathering resources and expanding your town. As your town gets bigger and larger, you start being able to generate income faster and more importantly, you get to recruit better fighters to your side.
Combat is controlled by a couple of buttons but the real factor that determines the victor of a match is how high your pet's stats are to begin with. Improving and strengthening pets will require resources -mainly food that you need to feed them in order to make them stronger. Pets are acquired from the store and each will work for you by gathering the in-game currency. They have unique preferences so it is best to plan your build order according to which pets you plan to get and strengthen. While there are rewards for battling (some pretty good ones too), it pays off to full strengthen pets before sending them into fights.
As expected of a free to play game, there are paid items to be found in the game. Premium gems allow you to speed up plenty of processes especially when it comes to building structures (which will have the longest wait times). While it is nice to have these, players who can afford to be patient can just grind these out manually.
Food is another resource that is available through purchases -and depending on how they are used, it can be a really good investment. Pets require a lot of food, and having plenty gives you a head start.
The Verdict: The Legend Continues
One of the game's strongest selling points is the extra art that is seen in to the introductions as well as the various animations for the sprites. It is pretty sad that the actual game art is does not make use of the sumi-e inspired style of the intro (well sure, that's Japanese instead of Chinese, but no reason to split hairs over good art). At least the smooth animations of the combat and the town building sequences are smoothly and nicely made.
The game is also paced nicely, making it very easy to go along with how the various tasks and responsibilities unfold for the player. Sure, there are a few mathematically challenging considerations when it comes to deciding which buildings and pets provide the optimum ways to speed up progress. But it is also to quickly recover from any bad decisions one may make at the start. This forgiving gameplay style makes it easy for even casual players to feel a sense of mastery in the game. Overall, Kung Fu Pets delivers an interesting approach for fans of the monster taming genre -while there is a lot less taming and a lot more commerce, the combat and food-for-growth system keeps the spirit of the genre alive.
Kung Fu Pets is developed by Com2us.