Kung Fu Rider Review

By Stephen Johnson - Posted Sep 01, 2010

Kung Fu Rider is game designed for fans of wacky, Japanese gaming. You play as a harried salary man or his sexy secretary, and you slide down steep hills on city streets on an office chair, avoiding obstacles, pulling off tricks and running from gangsters. It's colorful, strange and wacky --too bad it isn't fun.

The Pros
  • Wacky Japanese concept is entertaining
  • There's a sexy secretary
The Cons
  • Steep learning curve
  • Unresponsive controls cause frustration
  • Repetitive Gameplay

Kung Fu Rider is game designed for fans of wacky, Japanese gaming. You play as a harried salary man or his sexy secretary, and you slide down steep hills on city streets on an office chair, avoiding obstacles, pulling off tricks and running from gangsters. It’s colorful, strange and wacky --too bad it isn’t fun.

Kung Fu Rider

Grab Your Chair and Go To Town

I’ll start with the positive: Kung Fu Rider’s crazy, wacked out sensibility will make you laugh the first time you play it – I guarantee it. There’s something so surreal about sliding down a city street on an office chair, copier, baby buggy, vacuum or other non-traditional vehicle that you can’t help but shake you head, say WTH?, and crack up. The game even snaps your picture with the EyeToy camera when you crash to capture your look of amusement or frustration – nice touch. Other nice touches: The ragdoll physics are awesome in the style of Pain, and the character model of the secretary is particularly sexy-tacular.

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Here's Where The Fun Stops

So what’s the problem? The difficulty. Kung Fu Rider has a strangely steep learning curve for such a silly game. It draws you in with the engaging art style and quirky action, then quickly frustrates you with too-complicated controls, demand for overly precise movements, and difficult courses. In short: It’s frustrating when it should be fun.

This game is a Move launch title, and as a way of showing off the technology, it fails pretty majorly. Accurate control of your office chair demands precise, small movements with the Move controller, which is exactly the opposite of what you want to do when you’re playing a game about riding a copier down a hill. I constantly found myself jumping when I wanted to “push off” and sliding into walls because I accidentally turned too sharply.

Kung Fu Rider

Stop This Chair...I Want To Get Off

There are a wide variety of moves to pull off in the game – spin kicks, jumps, ducks, skateboard style grinds – every button on the Move is mapped to something, but rather than add value, the “extra” controls add only frustration. This game is complicated, and you feel really dumb trying to work out the perfect moves in a game about riding an office chair down a hill. You want to just slide down a hill, slamming into things, jumping and having fun, not trying to remember button combinations and have a perfect line. In short: Kung Fu Rider is just too silly to be “hardcore” and too difficult to be “casual.”