Steam Spotlight – Kung Fury: Street Rage

In late 2013, Swedish filmmaker David Sandberg launched a Kickstarter for his eighties-themed dream project, Kung Fury. The project secured enough funds for a short film, with the 31 minute Kung Fury arriving for free on YouTube earlier this year. Sandberg stars in the film as the titular Kung Fury, a super-powered martial artist cop who travels back in time to stop Adolf Hitler from becoming the Kung Führer. Although too heavy on green screen and gore for my tastes, Kung Fury is too crazy, fast, and fun not to watch.

Given the film's subject matter (and the killer arcade machine robot that sets the story in motion), a videogame tie-in makes perfect sense. Kung Fury: Street Rage is a simple beat 'em up for Steam, Android, and iOS that puts players in Kung Fury's high-tops as he upholds the law by punching and kicking an army of time-traveling Nazis.

With the Steam version ringing up at only two dollars, any fan of the movie or the games of the eighties will want to give it a look. Does it have any substance though? Read our Steam Spotlight review to find out!

Kung Fu style

The best thing about Kung Fury: Street Rage is how well it mimics the look of late eighties-early nineties arcade games. The game starts out with a dramatic animation of our hero jumping down from a moonlit building onto the street below, segueing straight into a standard arcade attract sequence. Borders at the edge of the screen and a CRT-style filter with scanlines and curvature effects make the game look just what you'd see on an actual classic arcade machine.

The sprites look fantastic and animate authentically for the era. Sound-wise, the sound effects, and (anachronistically clear) voice samples match the action perfectly. The game alternates between a few different music tracks, but they still become repetitive all too quickly. Props for not just having one tune, but the game's developers should have recruited a talented chiptunes artist for the soundtrack.

Two buttons of fury

Although Kung Fury: Street Rage looks like a beat 'em up akin to Double Dragon, Streets of Rage, and Final Fight, it actually plays like a simplified mobile title. The game only uses two buttons for input: left attack and right attack.

Players don't directly control Kung Fury's movement – he just dashes left or right as he attacks. Enemies come from both sides, forcing the hero to rapidly alternate between left or right attacks. Kung Fury automatically varies his attacks between standard punches and kicks, split punches, a deadly joy buzzer attack, and shooting his foes' heads off.

As you score multiple attacks in a row without missing, your combo meter and score multiplier rise. This is a (seemingly) endless score rush, so lasting as long as you can and achieving a place on the local scoreboard are the only goals.

The longer you play, the tougher the enemies that appear, such as robots that fall back when you hit them and Nazi nurses who switch sides after each hit they take. Miss too many blows or let yourself get surrounded and you'll lose one of your three non-replenishable hearts. The game ends when Kung Fury's hearts run out.

Furiously light on features and replayability

Kung Fury: Street Rage is a simple game and thus can run on most lightweight computers and tablets. It works perfectly on the original Surface Pro.

Unfortunately, the developers did not include touch-screen controls in the Windows version of the game. That's a cheap move considering the game works fine with iOS and Android touch devices. Windows tablet users can, of course, control the game with a keyboard or physical controller, but touch still would've been appreciated.

Street Rage is a Steam game, but it feels more like a throwaway mobile title. It has absolutely no metagame to speak of, so beating your local high score is the only thing to keep you coming back. Even the similarly dumbed-down mobile beat 'em up Combo Crew at least had some decent things to unlock, multiple modes, and social features. We get none of that with Kung Fury, not even online leaderboards. Nor does this one have Steam Achievements that could've added more long term appeal.

Kung Fury: Street Rage looks exactly like the beat 'em up game adaptation that any fan of the short film would want. Unfortunately, the game doesn't capitalize enough on the film's humor and wackiness, nor did its creators make any attempt at instilling replay value. The price is just about right for what you get here, but I can't help wishing for a properly fleshed out game that could entertain for longer than the movie itself.

  • Kung Fury – Windows, Mac, and Linux – $1.99 – Steam Link

In case you missed it, be sure to check out the full Kung Fury short film on YouTube! (Warning: NSFW)

Paul Acevedo

Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!

  • No windows phone, no love
  • Blame Microsoft for not working with small developers like these. While they bend over backwards for EA and Gameloft, who churn out mass market junk, they're almost hostile towards independent developers who don't have a major hit. It's become increasingly difficult to be profitable in mobile, but most still develop for iOS and Android for the relevance and because the market is huge. I'd love to see the statistics for Windows Phone, but I suspect the numbers aren't encouraging. I've seen great games languishing in the Windows Phone mall, almost impossible to find if you don't specifically seek them all. So even if there's a chance of being a big fish in a small pond, the odds are small because Microsoft isn't doing enough to promte anything that isn't Gameloft. In any case, Steam and consoles are where most developers are making their money. And it's PSN and Nintendo where they're going because many developers don't have the time and resources to deal with a frustrating Xbox certification process.
  • Not Microsoft's fault that smaller devs don't know how to market their game. At the very least they could easily give out codes for streams and reviews, which is what Gameloft does. You don't release a game with no marketing then blame others for its failure.
  • Devs don't actually have a way to give out WP and W8 codes. It's ridiculous. That said, the Kung Fury dev did give us Steam codes in order to facilitate this review.
  • I remembered it being on the W8 store - shame they removed it.
  • Because I didn't have time to review it then.
  • Where the heck did my comments go?
  • Somebody might have reported them. It wasn't me though. Weird that my replies didn't also disappear.
  • I won't be buying it. If he's not gonna have it on WP, I'll skip it all together.
  • Or at least make it a universal app. Is 100 million users not enough?
    Put this on my no-buy list. If its not worth for the developer to put it in the windows store, then its not worth any of my time even bothering...
  • You're really limiting yourself if you only play games available on the Windows Store. There are literally thousands of wonderful PC games that will never come to the Windows Store.
  • You lost me at the tired old trope of time travel and Nazis.
  • You should watch a few minutes of it. Although the film's filled with homages and in-jokes, I'd call it anything but tired. It's quite insane and funny.
  • I agree that a full game would have been neat. This is a fun way to advertise a movie.
  • Paul did you get that score?
  • The high score at the top is mine - 27k.
  • LOL best movie ever.  It just gets more and more ridiculous as it goes on. 
  • This does exist in the windows 8.1 store
  • No it does not. It was pulled due to lack of Interest and No Windows fan centric sites showing it off.
  • Great write-up but not really my kind of game. Price is very good though.
  • Ha. The film was totally outrageous! I really liked the True Survivor music video too. I'm probably not going to go for the game though. I was expecting more of a sidescrolling cinematic adventure, rather than a cheapo endless brawler.
  • looks fun reminds me of my younger years.