Most of us think, that zoos are places, where animals are kept against their will. Or because they did not have any other chance and were born in captivity. Freedom does not sound familiar to them. But it’s completely different. Comfort through the day and great action at night. Inhabitants of most zoos live just like this in reality. And golden star of each night is a series of battles, in which candidates will eventually get a chance to challenge the current champion and knock him into a cage!
No one knows, how he got there, but Charlie Price got close to the ring and saw it for his own eyes. He did not write book about it, but instead created a board game, so that everyone could become one of those animal fighters. Game was named Kung Fu Zoo and its released by Wizkids. Illustrations were created by Mr. Cuddington. In Europe, game is heading to players’ shelves thanks to the distribution of Esdevium Games.
Box with the night silhouettes of fighters is quite large, because it contains the ring itself. Fighting arena is created from the bottom of the box with square board covering the holes. Animal ninjas can compete in two disciplines. On weekdays there is a classic match for points, but there is also a golden night in the cage held on the weekend. Both of these are basic game variants. In the beginning, each player chooses his animal, gets its card (turns it right side up), and according to the color, he also receives a set of four dice with different symbols.
And point match it is. In it, the fighters (dice) of all rivals gradually enter the arena. The player simply put dice on the ropes (edge of the board) and crush them inside the ring. Where a dice stops, it also means whether the animal has landed from its giant leap into action. It can be shaken or even lie on its back. And that’s also current point gain for that fighter, if the round has ended.
As soon as someone sends his fourth fighter into the ring, the round immediately ends. But until then, the opponents may not be satisfied with their first result on their dice. They can simply take it back and get off the rope again. And to make it a good fight, they should simultaneously try to hit the opponent’s warriors and ideally push him into a cage. Those are represented by four circular holes at the corners of the ring, and if a fighter falls in, he is trapped there until the end of the round. And he will not be able to bring any profit to its owner.
At the end of a round, players will add points based on their pet stance from five (if standing) to a minimum of two (on their back). But one round is just that – one round. Like in the real fight, even here such a tiny fragment can not decide the whole battle. Game continues until the moment, when one of players is able to gather score of at least 21 points. This player becomes the winner.
And then there are cage fights. Not only are special character capabilities now entering the game (the other side of player boards), but above all, battle does not end after all fighters are in the ring. Instead, their coaches must flick again from the ropes to the ring. The goal is to throw opponent out of balance (to theri back – they must remain like that) or trap them in cages. Last team standing becomes the winner of the round. And after three rounds won, coach can celebrate victory of his group of fighters.
Kung Fu Zoo is a game in which, of course, finger skill must be very good. But this is not enough, because you will not affect the result of the dice, after it stops. Successful flick is only one half of success. On the other hand, if you are not satisfied with the result of the roll, just take the dice and put it in the ring again. The result will most likely be different.
Players must consider very well, if they want to roll again or reconcile with a lower point gain. With a few mistakes, dice can end up on their back and thus completely disqualified from the round, even with no chance for rerolls.
Dice themselves are great. Not only in processing (it can withstand continuous rolling), but mainly because they really represent body of a fighter. With a bit of fantasy, you can really imagine fighters as they jump from ropes on each other, knock their rivals and fight for domination.
That’s true in two, but what about three or four players? Here, matches get even more interesting, because the dice always have a lot of opponents on the road, and they are in danger of being pushed by their opponents. Games are generally fast, ten minutes at the most, regardless of the number of opponents.
Starting position for each new flick depends on how well a fighter was placed before. Advantage is, if warrior is standing up. Such dice can be placed on any position on the ledge by its player, while for the figure lying on the side, there is only one specific place reserved on each side of the ring. But the worst is figher with his legs up, because such an animal is stunned and cannot act anymore.
And that’s not everything. With one variant, players can even move their stunned fighters, but they have to use their little fingers to flick instead of any finger. This is much closer to the impression, that the hero is disoriented.
It is clear, therefore, that dice and their influence on the match played will be greatly affected by luck. In addition, the only really negative feature of the experience is the moment, when you are buying the game. Its price tag is really high for how much components you get in the box.
Kung Fu Zoo is such a crazy dice fighter, that will attract mainly children or crazy dice lovers. Flicking dice itself discourages a number of people, because many do not like it. But if you are a fan of these type of games or just want a fun skill game, then Kung Fu Zoo is one of the good candidates, that even younger kids can handle.
+ dice as warriors
+ battling in cages
+ two basic variants
+ lightning fast matches
+ light entertainment
- flicking (for someone)