What is Boomerang Fu?
At its core, Boomerang Fu is an adorably hectic couch co-op/competitive game whereby players assume control of sentient food items. Your goal is to be the last snack standing when the crumbs settle and the boomerangs have shattered. A simple concept with the potential of being a lot of fun. In a year where people have been huddling together at home thanks to ol’ ‘rona, Boomerang Fu might just be the game to stave off the inevitable madness.
From the word go, Boomerang Fu hits you over the head with a stick made of taffy before covering you in jam. Like a strange fetishist, it wants you to be overwhelmed by the bright colors, humorous food items, and inevitable murder. Each character is a piece of healthy (toast), or unhealthy (also toast…) food, packing simple but adorable faces. From sushi to avocado, Boomerang Fu nails it’s characters.
This continues through to stage designs, which whilst simple to look at, are varied in appearance and theme. Each one has a unique set of gimmicks keeping each battle feel fresh. This is further helped by the number of stages provided, which is fairly substantial in the grand scheme, and certainly helps stave off the monotony.
Throw that Boomerang!
Boomerang Fu is a joy to play. You have three basic commands which are: throw, swing, and dash. Throw lets you, well, throw, your boomerang like a vicious Australian hunter…dressed a cup of coffee. Swing is your melee attack, whereby you use your boomerang as a somewhat curved sword. Finally, the dash is your short-ranged mobility tool that allows you to avoid dangerous situations and traverse gaps. It is easy to pick up, and not too hard to master, which makes it an ideal game for a games night – providing what you are doing is fun of course.
Which is it is. Throwing your boomerang is an incredibly satisfying mechanic as it is dangerous both when thrown, and on the return flight home. This means you have to constantly be aware of where you are, where the enemy is, where your boomerang has gone, and whether their boomerang is coming to violate you from behind. Such a simple mechanic, adds a substantial amount of stressful joy. Of course, throwing your boomerang has some downsides, namely that you are defenseless without one. If your boomerang conks into a wall and it can’t get back to you, you have to manually pick it up, or stay perfectly still, and channel your inner Thor, summoning it back to you. Neither of these options are ideal, and leave you open to a swift swing from someone who fancies themselves to be a fruit ninja, so to speak.
Spicing things up is the stage design and power-ups you can find whilst toddling around. Each stage comes with its own little twist, whether that be portals, moving platforms or mazes, etc. Each stage forces you to tackle each encounter slightly differently, as just randomly unleashing your stick isn’t going to achieve much if someone teleports behind you and shafts you right in the (donut) hole. Power-Ups are the real game-changers here. These beauties persist from round to round and alter how your boomerang functions. Do you want two boomerangs? Have it. Harness the power of fire? Here you go, man. How about a boomerang that explodes into tiny boomerangs that all fly back to you like a swarm of murderous minirangs? Piece of cake.
What makes all of these mechanics come together, and allows the madness to flow, is the fact you die in one hit, you don’t respawn, and the winner is determined by who can reach the total kill threshold over a series of rounds. This would be rather tedious if each round was a lengthy affair – but it’s not. A round will last anywhere from 5-30 seconds, although I found it to hit the 10-second mark most frequently. Frantic would be an understatement.
You’ve Got Options...
When setting up a game you can decide how many players you want to participate and can add bots to fill out the ranks if you want. You can have anywhere from 2-6 players duking it out at a time. In my opinion, the sweet spot is 4 players. A perfect mix of short rounds and followable action. Any more and things devolve into chaos too manic to follow, which is fun in its own right – if that’s what you’re looking for. 1v1’s are also surprisingly fantastic as you go head-to-head with your son – watching the fear in his eyes as he whiffs his throw, and you slice him in half – his dreams of glory lying dead on the floor. It’s a great feeling. Especially when the leading player gets a crown. A fitting reward, and tantalizing target.
Finally, the game comes with a number of modes ranging free for all, to teams, to golden boomerang (hold the boomerang to win). These are all competently made, but free-for-all is where the most fun is to be had. A bunch of players running around screaming as boomerangs fly everywhere is best played as a team of one. The mechanics truly shine in this mode, with the other two feeling more like welcome afterthoughts.
This is where I get to put a downer on an otherwise fun game. There is no online. This means if you have no friends, family, or children to coerce into playing with you, then you are stuck with bots. After playing against bots, they are competent and will kick your ass if you don’t respect them…but it is not the same experience by any stretch of the imagination. Additionally, the game is fun in very short bursts. If you are planning on having a game night, this is absolutely not going to be the main attraction as you will grow tired after one or two matches (or half an hour of play). An intermissionary splooge if you will.
Boomerang Fu is a fun little brawler, packing depth and style in equal measure. It’s let down by a lack of online multiplayer, but if you can get a few people together, then this is absolutely worth booting up from time to time.
BOOMERANG FU IS RECOMMENDED
Many thanks go to Cranky Watermelon for a Nintendo Switch review code for this title.
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Forged in the rainy wilds of northern England, I carved a path of mediocrity through generations and genres. My play style is often described as: “optimistically awful”.