Kung-Fu (NES) Retro Review

Kung-Fu is a 1985 action game for the NES developed by Irem and published by Nintendo. The aim is to fight your way through five floors of ‘The Devil’s Temple’ as Thomas (the played character) in order to save his girlfriend for a crime boss called Mr. X. Its considered by some to be one of the precursors of the beat ’em up genre.


The menu was nice and simplistic although without a manual i had no idea what the difference between Game A and Game B was (and honestly couldn’t be bothered to look either). The graphics in the game itself were actually really nice but i sadly had major problems with the gameplay. Not because the game itself is terrible, Its me that’s terrible at the game.

I swear i only died this early trying to take the screenshot...

I couldn’t get anywhere at all, the controls were easy to use and beating people in one kick or one punch is highly satisfying but as soon as a knife thrower appears you’re practically dead. You could probably jump over the knife (as well as ducking) in order to avoid it but even letting one hit you takes a huge chunk of your life bar and they need to be hit twice to be beaten. On top of this the boss of the first floor has a sword and literally looks and feels like they’re cheating. You can almost ignore the time limit which forces you to rush through stages because you usually die way before that. What makes it all worse though is when you do die you have to start that floor again, this means you either get perfect at this game or don’t play it. I chose the latter.

Overall, its another NES game I’m not that good at and another very short review. I’d recommend it to people that like beat em ups, they’d probably do much better than i did and therefore find it more fun.


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