Fighting games are generally known for their slick, precise gameplay. Even something like Super Smash Bros., well known for its accessibility, boasts a remarkable level of depth, perfect for competitive play. Drunk-Fu: Wasted Masters doesn’t quite match up (in fact, it really doesn’t), but its bizarre, physics-based gameplay does entertain for a little while, and there’s no denying that it’s well-suited to the game’s overall premise.
Playable locally or online (with the option to add bots if you’re not a fan of multiplayer), Drunk-Fu consists of a selection of customisable brutes battling it out for supremacy over a series of themed stages. Of course, the twist here is that the combatants are all severely under the influence of beer, whisky, vodka, and whatever other intoxicating liquid they happen to have laid their hands on. As a result, their movement is incredibly inhibited; their feet shuffle along the ground, and their hand-eye coordination is almost non-existent.
The aim of the default mode is to simply knock your opponents out of the arena, with the person scoring the most knockouts within the time limit winning the round. You have a standard attack that is primarily used for chipping away at your enemies’ health bars, and a more powerful charge attack that is perfect for sending them flying across the stage. You can also dodge, double jump and run at a faster speed – though the actual effectiveness of any of these abilities is up in the air.
Actually using all of these abilities is also much easier said than done. The characters control like literal rag dolls, with the slightest turn or change in speed sending them tumbling to the ground. This is actually surprisingly amusing in practice, and is in no way a particularly bad thing, as they can pick themselves back up in no time at all. The problem, however, is that most matches tend to descend into button-mashing affairs, since developing any kind of strategy is next to impossible thanks to the unpredictability of the physics.
The characters themselves are identical in general appearance to one another, but you can customise them enough to make your own fighter stand out in the crowd. There are a variety of skin tones to choose from, including more obscure ones like ‘zombie’ and ‘scary clown’, along with a vast selection of clothing and optional facial hair. It’s pretty basic stuff on the whole, but there’s definitely a lot of potential to create some truly ridiculous-looking characters.
If you’re after a cheap and cheerful fighting game, Drunk-Fu: Wasted Masters more or less ticks the right boxes. At its low price, you shouldn’t expect anything close to the level of depth seen in more well-known examples of the genre, and its potential online longevity will likely suffer as a result. Play it locally with a few friends, however, and you’re almost guaranteed to get a few laughs out of it.