Mister Kung-Fu (Matra) Review | Blast Annual - Everygamegoing

Blast Annual

Mister Kung-Fu
By Matra
Spectrum 48K/128K/+2/+3

Published in Blast Annual 2020 Volume 2

Mister Kung-Fu

Everyone in their mid to late 30s and older will be familiar with Kung Fu Master from the arcades and from the array of 8 bit home computer and console versions released. Almost every system had their own conversion and most of them did a pretty good job of bringing the arcade classic to your home.

I say most as lurking in the background, afraid to show its ugly face, is the horrendous ZX Spectrum version. With the 8 bit wars raging away in every playground across the U.K, the last thing Speccy owners needed was this sub-standard, poorly coded mess ruining their arguments. With a bitter taste left in the mouth lasting for 35 years, Uprising Games decided to take matters into their own hands and right this wrong, not just for themselves but for all of the children who had been cheated out of their pocket money and subjected to ridicule by their C64 and Amstrad owning classmates.

Developer: Uprising Games

Uprising Games have made their name making games for Apple iOS mobile phones and tablets. They are pretty good at it too, and it's well worth checking out their mobile games Super Soccer Champs 2018, 2019, Tennis Champs 3 and Mixt. Mister Kung Fu though, is the first ZX Spectrum game from Uprising Games, receiving fifth place with 12,660 points in the 2018, ZX-Dev M.I.A/Remakes competition. If you go to their website at: uprising-games.com/home/mister-kung-fu you are able to download Mister Kung Fu for play as a mobile game too.


Mister Kung Fu

It is well known that the Bruce Lee movie Game of Death was a major influence on Kung Fu Master. The classic martial arts movie saw Bruce Lee face off against a wide variety of foes, each with their own skill sets and weaknesses on his journey to overthrow the evil tyrant. The plot was perfect material for a video game and Kung Fu Master captured the sentiment perfectly.

The storyline remains the same as the original Kung Fu Master with poor old Silvia kidnapped and being held captive in the Devil's Temple where the five sons of the devil wait to entertain you. This of course refers to the five bosses that you must face. One on each floor as you make your way to the summit for the final showdown with one of the most frustrating final bosses in history.

All the evil henchmen are present and accounted for with their original attack patterns so those skills you have honed over the decades can be applied seamlessly. The essential ingredients here are fast and frantic gameplay, tight controls, a wide variety of enemies, excellent collision detection, detailed graphics, original and intriguing boss characters, smooth scrolling and a classic soundtrack complete with the vital kung fu movie sound effects!

Mister Kung Fu

Mister Kung Fu not only ticks every single box, it smashes all expectations out of the stadium.

It may be 35 years late, but this is the finest home computer version of Kung Fu Master currently in existence. For those teased by their classmates all those years ago, it's time for some social media stalking and some friend requests. Track them down and shove this in their face! Mister Kung Fu not only matches its arcade source material but exceeds it in many ways.

Although the graphics and colours are restricted by the Spectrum's limitations they are still well drawn and capture the feel of the game perfectly. However, what really matters is the gameplay and this is where Mister Kung Fu shines ever so brightly. The controls are lightning fast and you can pull off a quick couple of punches in both directions in a fraction of a second, thus reducing the frustrating joystick waggle when opponents grab you.

Mister Kung Fu

There are less bugs and glitches than the arcade version too and the boss fights are smoother. The palette used is very appropriate and colour clash is kept to a minimum.


The controls are tight and responsive so death is at the hands of your own timing and reflexes as it is in all great games. The graphics capture the spirit of the original perfectly. There has been a great deal of care given to making every aspect of this right for the player and finally giving the Speccy the conversion it deserves.


The fact that I'm not as good at this as I used to be!


This is the conversion of Kung Fu Master that the ZX Spectrum deserved. If you are a fan of the original game there's a great deal of enjoyment to be gained from playing this. Even if you're not a fan it's worth playing just to appreciate how good a job Elton Bird has done in coding it. What are you waiting for? Silvia is not going to rescue herself!

Dougie MCG

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