Kung Fury: Street Rage Developer Interview: Embrace the Absurd With a Unique Beat-Em-Up
Kung Fury: Street Rage is a video game tie-in to the hit Kickstarter indie martial arts comedy short film, “Kung Fury,” the tale of an 80’s cop who decides to take on Hitler with his superhero-level martial arts mastery. Kung Fury: Street Rage is available for $19.99 on Steam, but it’s this month’s IGN Plus game and Plus members can get a Steam key as an IGN Reward and jump in right now.
Plus members – get your key for Kung Fury: Street Rage – Ultimate Edition here on its IGN Rewards page. Not a Plus member? Learn more here. You can also follow the devs on Twitter.
Oskar Eklund, CEO & Founder of Hello There Games
I sat down with Oskar Eklund, CEO of Hello There Games, to talk about Kung Fury: Street Rage, the 5th anniversary update, and how the game originally came to be.
Eklund originally met Kung Fury writer, director, and star David Sandberg while the two were at Universal Music. Eklund (a Taikwondo fighter himself) had just led the studio in releasing Taekwondo, a touch-screen game based on the martial art, and was at Universal to talk to AVICII, the late musician the dev team had worked with for both AVICII Gravity and AVICII Invector.
The Creation of Kung Fury: Street Rage
Eklund and Sandberg met in a conference room and hit it off about martial arts. Sandberg told Eklund about Kung Fury and said he was interested in a game tie-in being made. After 15 minutes, Eklund was sold on the idea, and the team shared his excitement as they moved into development, hot on the heels of the Kung Fury short film’s Kickstarter success.
Kung Fury isn’t like most other martial arts films, and Kung Fury: Street Rage doesn’t play like other side-scrolling beat-em-ups, either. Instead of stage-based, “left-to-right” progression with free-moving combat, Kung Fury: Street Rage opted instead for no movement control, and only proximity-based combat using the Left and Right buttons for attacks (at least in the base game). Eklund said the choice was made due to the limitations of developing for mobile, combined with a very short dev time, but it also helps it stand out from its competition, having a more rhythmic feel than most brawlers.
Laser Unicorns (one of the production companies behind the film) and Sandberg worked directly with Hello There Games to bring characters and enemies from the film to the game, 1-for-1, bringing the original mobile version to life in a scant 2.5 months. Luckily, it found it’s audience, enabling the studio to work on story-based, expanded versions with voiceover provided by the film’s actors, as well as a lyric video of David Hasselhoff’s “True Survivor.”
The 5th Anniversary & Ultimate Edition
To celebrate the fifth anniversary of Kung Fury: Street Rage, Laser Unicorns, David Sandberg, and Hello There Games decided to create a whole new game; Kung Fury: Street Rage – Ultimate Edition. This new version bundles all previously released content together and adds more worlds, boss fights, features, new gameplay modes with free movement, local multiplayer, and even David Hasselhoff as a playable character.
If you are looking to jump in, consider Kung Fury to be much more fun with a friend, so be sure to jump into co-op together, or challenge each other in classic mode. Eagle eyed players should also keep a lookout for Triceracop’s confession, the infamous ‘Bluescreen’ reference, as well as references to Ninja Turtles in the most likely of places…
When asked about any future plans related to Kung Fury (or Kung Fury 2), Oskar simply winked and said, “Maybe?” We will have to wait and see what the future will hold.
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Brian Barnett writes reviews, guides, features, & more for IGN & GameSpot. You can get your fix of his antics on Twitter (@Ribnax), Backloggd (Ribnax) & Twitch (Ribnax) or check out his fantastic video game talk show, The Platformers, on Twitch & Apple Podcasts.