Disney / Dreamworks hit upon a formula... Cute animals doing kung fu. What's not to love? I'm sure the movie's going to be a hit, even with kids. So is the mobile game worth playing? Hmmm... It's a surprising YES!
Instead of a Street Fighter / King of Fighters straight beam-em-up, the developers sent us an action-adventure combined with a beat-em-up. You get to play both as Po, the panda, and Tai Lung, the "bad guy". It is a 2D game but very cute sprites.
The characters are responsive, necessity for a beat-em-up. Controls are straight forward... jump, crouch, and so on. There's only one "attack" key, though in combination of jump and crouch you'll execute different attacks.
As Po, you get to collect lots and lots of dumplings. Break a few things like vases and bowls, maybe something hiding inside. If you got noodle soup, you'll get temporary power-up. As Tai-Lung, your claws are your best weapons, and you can flip over an oil lamp to temporarily add fire to your claws, making them more deadly.
There's a "world map" where you move among 10 levels. Obviously, this will follow the plot, so I can't say too much about it. Suffice to say, yes, Po and Tai Lung will meet in the end for the ultimate kung fu showdown. In the meanwhile, you'll go to a tutorial level in Shifu's dojo to learn the controls, then switch to Tai Lung, then back, and forth. You get the idea.
If you manage to locate all "Paws of Power" orbs on every level, you can unlock a secret bonus. I haven't done so yet, as some of those can be quite hard to find. Also, there's no "score", so once you finish the game, that's about it, as there's no levels of difficulty.
The music is vaguely oriental but repeats quickly, so it can be boring. Sound effects are so-so.
All in all, Kung Fu Panda, the mobile game, is a pretty good tie-in... Long enough to worth playing maybe twice or three times through, and short enough (each level lasts about 3-5 minutes) to play as a mobile game, with good use of subject material, art, and responsive controls. I give it a 7.5.
About This Place
First started in late 2007, Kasey's Mobile Game Review (then just a regular feature of Kasey's Korner) started as a simul-post between here and IGN. Later I realized there's no reason to post it twice, when I can use the traffic on my own site. so, here we are, in 2010, and the mobile game industry has grown a bit. What do you think?