Kung Fu Rider

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Kung Fu Rider Game Poster Image
Mildly violent office-chair racing; kids shouldn't copycat.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

This is an arcade-style game with little in the way of any themes or deeper meaning. While it is meant to be funny in a bizarre way, kids could see it as promoting (dangerous) office chair high jinxs. It delivers mild but nonetheless sensationalized violence.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Our two protagonists simply want to escape some mean gangsters. They seem nice enough, though we’re not told why the gangsters are after them. However, they engage in dangerous stunts -- such as rolling down a hill on an office chair trying to avoid obstacles -- that could easily be attempted outside the game.

Ease of Play

Some of the controls, such as pressing a button and sweeping the motion controller to attack, are satisfyingly simple. However, steering and navigation in general is frustration incarnate.

Violence

Players make their office chair-riding avatars perform martial arts moves -- acrobatic kicks -- on gangsters as they scoot past them, knocking them dozens of feet back in the air. Meanwhile, the gangsters try to hit the player’s character with sticks, barrels, and other objects to arrest their progress. The game’s exaggerated ragdoll physics makes many of these attacks look pretty painful, but there is no blood or gore and no one dies.

Sex

Karin, the female playable character, is dressed provocatively, and her breasts bounce noticeably during certain movements.

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Kung Fu Rider is an over-the-top arcade action game that sees people on office chairs and vacuum cleaners rolling down busy city streets while avoiding gangsters who want to beat them up. The PlayStation Move motion controller is required. The violence is mild -- there is no blood and no one dies -- though the exaggerated ragdoll physical makes for some pretty brutal looking tumbles. The biggest worry here might be kids attempting to replicate what they see on screen in the real world by taking a wheeled chair and rolling down a street or driveway.

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What's it about?

The slimmest of narratives provides context for KUNG FU RIDER, an odd mishmash of office-chair shenanigans, martial arts, and extreme street sports designed for Sony’s new PlayStation Move motion controller. Players take on the roll of either a detective or his sexy assistant, both of whom are trying to escape from a mob of nameless gangsters for reasons unknown. Each level begins with our hero hopping on an office chair (or other random wheeled contraption, such as a vacuum cleaner) and pushing off for a long roll down busy city streets. The goal of the game is to avoid obstacles, use kung fu attacks on any enemies encountered, and collect money scattered along the course.

Is it any good?

The premise is a bit peculiar, but there’s actually some potential here. Flipping up the motion controller and then pressing the Move button to grind rails with your chair’s wheels is satisfying, as is pressing an action button and swooping the controller to perform attacks that send our enemies flying with exaggerated ragdoll physics.

However, navigation is a chore. To steer, players must widely swoop the motion controller left or right, but we were rarely able to take corners sharply enough, resulting in crash after crash. And unless you manage the tricky feat of pulling the controller perfectly straight back in line with the PlayStation Eye camera, the act of ducking transforms into wild swerving. Kung Fu Rider could have been a sleeper hit for PlayStation Move. As is, it’s a half-baked failure in dire need of some fine tuning.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the dangers of replicating plausible looking video game stunts in real life, starting with a conversation about the difference in danger between rolling around on chairs outside versus at home or in a parents’ office.

  • Families can also discuss motion control in video games. Did you feel as though you were more active while playing this game? Do you enjoy moving your arms and upper body while playing as opposed to just your fingers and thumbs?

Game details

For kids who love action in their games

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