‘Buddha Finger’ Review: 80s Kung-Fu Action

Buddha Finger
Buddha Finger

You may have seen our IGM Plays episode of Lady Shotgun Games’ first iOS title, Buddha Finger, last week where I teased the beginning of the game. Since then I’ve got some more time in with the tongue-in-cheek retro 80s action game and am thoroughly impressed.

Without giving away too much of the story, you take the role of a young kid in Hollywood who aspires to be a ninja. Seemingly out of nowhere, a mysterious kung-fu master notifies you that your long-lost twin brother has been taken by an evil drug lord. In order to save him your master has taught you a secret Kung-Fu attack, the buddha finger. If you’ve ever seen the movie Kill Bill, it’s the type of move where you target the pressure points of your enemies to defeat them (Five Point Palm Exploding Heart technique). Unlike a Tarantino movie there’s no heart exploding, instead the game is friendly for all ages.

Buddha FingerThe gameplay is somewhat like Elite Beat Agents as it revolves around different variations of tapping and swiping on specific areas of the enemy as fast as you can to increase your score. You will receive a numerical sequence of buttons in which you must interact with according to its’ physical appearance. For instance, some buttons only require a single tap, whereas others need to be repeatedly pounded down. Later in the game you will come across buttons in which you must swipe and link together and other various levels of screen swipe interactivity such as rotating them like a wind wheel. It’s a unique take on combat, but can become tiresome after a while.

Sometimes the gameplay can feel like random tapping and swiping and not any real interactivity with the rest of the game. There’s nothing in terms of visuals or audio that really get you in the rhythm of the gameplay. That’s not to denounce the art style or audio as they fit well with the overall presentation of the game perfectly.

As you can see from the screenshots, Buddha Finger is a more light-hearted take on mixed martial arts, making it very approachable. The game is filled with those bright neon colors we seen back in the 80s, but it is still organized in a simplistic fashion so you don’t get too distracted with the task at hand. The characters will move around the screen in response to your attacks, and will react accordingly as you inflict damage upon them. From the character design to the backdrops, it all ties with the overall 80s vibe the game has going. You can even expect the soundtrack to match with the 80s kung-fu movie vibe the whole way through.

In the end, Buddha Finger has a fun and interesting story line with very approachable gameplay that is entertaining in short bursts. On the other hand, the gameplay often feels random and untied to the rest of the game with no real rhythm to it.  When it comes down to it, Buddha Finger’s 80s kung-fu vibe makes the title a stand out app that everyone should try.

To pick up Buddha Finger, you can do so on the App Store today for the very approachable price of $0.99.

[review pros="Fun Storyline, Approachable Gameplay, Beautiful Presentation" cons="Non-Rhythmic Gameplay Removes Overall Longevity" score=88]

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