Boomerang Fu: My Kind of Food Fight
Boomerang Fu is a local-only multiplayer game starring a bunch of easily sliced pieces of food and their boomerangs. For reasons that are unclear, these bits of food live only to murder each other, and they have some creative ways to do so. Slashing or throwing the boomerangs will do it, of course, but in the team mode this leaves behind large chunks that can be reassembled by a teammate to revive the fallen food. Pushing an enemy off an edge, crushing them with a trap, or lighting them on fire are more permanent, but also more situational and difficult to pull off. One powerup even turns your boomerang into a bomb that detonates a few seconds after landing. The explosion kills permanently in a wide area, but it hits everyone - including you and teammates - even with friendly fire otherwise turned off. The core slashing and throwing mechanics are surprisingly satisfying because of great hit animations and sound effects. They're also a lot deeper than you'd expect from a small game like this. Slashes can be used to deflect thrown boomerangs or to parry incoming slashes, and throws can get clever kills both as they're coming back to you and after being tossed through a portal to hit someone from across the map.
Sushi is really throwing this match
Still, it's the power ups that really elevate the game. One of these spawns randomly on each level and grants a permanent bonus for the rest of the first-to-10 match. Some of these are much stronger than others, like the telekinesis that lets you simply guide your boomerang around until it has ruthlessly murdered the entire enemy team, but all of them give you cool new ways of playing. Want to set traps? Disguise will turn you into a piece of scenery whenever you stand still, allowing you to jump out and slash unsuspecting enemies. Want to jump around like a wizard? Teleport will warp you to wherever your boomerang lands. There are several others that add purely offensive capabilities, and all of them can stack and combine together to create silly combos.
Did someone order a half gallon?
On top of all that, the 30 maps available provide a lot of variety. You get simple arenas, traps, portals, mazes, pits, and even some with constantly moving parts you need to navigate around. There's nothing here that you haven't seen in another game, sure, but all of it is well-designed and each individual map is over so quickly that even ones you don't particularly enjoy don't overstay their welcome.
But Boomerang Fu isn't quite perfect. This sort of game has the potential for some crazy modifiers to add long term variety, but the match modifiers you have available are so boring that most games would just call them "options." Match types are similarly underwhelming. You have free for all, teams, and golden boomerang, which is basically tag. They're fun modes, sure, but they're also the modes you'd come up with after 5 minutes of brainstorming, and it would've been nice to see something more creative to really make the game stand out.
Those flaws are enough to stop the game from reaching the heights of the very best party games like Overcooked 2, but it's still an absolute blast to play. Highly recommended whenever you're in need of a quick and silly multiplayer brawl.
Reviewed On: PC MSRP: $14.99
Time to finish: No real campaign, but a normal length match takes about 20 minutes.