What is Boomerang Fu: A small and fun local multiplayer game with various foods (like pink-frosted sprinkled donuts) fighting each other to the death with a one-hit-kill boomerang. It is something to play with buddies to have a good time.
Mechanics: The game has rounds where in each round every player fights to the death. In each round, the players are placed on a small map that spans the entire screen. This game has very simple controls, only three buttons. You can dash, melee, and throw your boomerang. Additionally, thrown boomerangs will eventually fly back into your hands. Anything the boomerang touches is immediately killed.
Story: There is no story in this game at all, the gameplay is what drives interest.
Gameplay: While the controls/rules of the game are very simple. The design of each possible action creates a lot of interesting dynamics and depth. For example, throwing the boomerang leaves you weaponless. So while it may seem like a good idea to go for easy kills, the defenseless you could be very killed quickly. The game constantly places you in situations where you must make split-second decisions on when is a good time to go for kills. Another mechanic is that boomerangs also ricochet off walls, so you can Physics your way to victory and feel very 300IQ.
Additionally, there a numerous powerups (which are definitely not balanced) that add to the core gameplay: For example, the teleport powerup allows you to teleport to your boomerang on command. You could leave your boomerang on the floor amidst the chaos and teleport to kill inattentive friends.
Aesthetics: Overall I like it. It is adorable, simple cartoonish 3D, and communicates what the game is about. Fun! While initially, I thought that it had the slight commercial cash grabby render quality that really unique, overall it is not that important.
The sound fits the gameplay well, the BGMs make you feel laid back but slightly energetic. This mood fits the party game vibes. In addition, the slash and parrying sounds are quite satisfying to hear.
Technology: I feel it’s best played with a controller on the couch watching tv instead of using a mouse and keyboard. Runs even on potato PCs.
The Five lenses
THE LENS OF FUN (#5)
This is one of the games that I feel is built from a prototype with one central mechanic, the boomerang. Everything else in the game feels in service of this one mechanic. Boomerang Fu does this well because there is a lot of depth in the boomerang. For example, you could parry boomerangs midair or move your character in a way that would slice the enemies as the boomerang returns midair. It feels like a fun toy to play with.
THE LENS OF SKILL (#34)
In this game, the most skilled player will likely win overall unless everyone else decides to gang up on him. Generally, experts will destroy novices in this game. One of the reasons is that our only weapon in the game (the boomerang ), demands precise aim, timing, and control. Another reason is that strong game sense is required to be aware of the limits of each interaction between the different powerups.
The game however does try to help you. It nudges your shots closer to the enemy subtly. But not too much, so most kills still feel intentional. This makes you feel skilled when you make plays. In addition, the game gives shields to underdogs which prevents one-hit KOs. Still, you feel like most deaths are avoidable, this makes the game feel fair and rewarding. You can see a pathway to getting better.
One of the important design decisions in the game was to make sure everyone had different power-ups. It is very unlikely that two people will have the same set. Additionally, powerups can combine together. For example, if you got the exploding boomerangs and the multi boomerangs power up. You essentially become an AOE nuke that covers 20% of the maps in one throw. This introduced the biggest luck factor which is who was getting overpowered power-ups first. But as a casual game, I believe this was not a bad decision because it is more fun and creates “how is this allowed” moments. For more serious people the gameplay is customizable in the settings, you can ban some power-ups.
The lens of time(27) The total game lasts 10-15 minutes with each round lasting under a minute. Because of the short rounds, there is no real commitment to completing the game. We can leave halfway and not care who the overall winner is. I think this is suitable for a party game. Sometimes a power box could cause a kill zone to close in like in Fortnite. However, I felt this mechanic should be something that automatically happens if a round was lasting for too long.
The lens of Moments(68)
The game is most intense when there are only two people left and everyone else is watching to see who would win. The game tries to amplify this moment by adding a slow-mo to the final kill and then replaying it as the next round loads. I would have liked more late-game options other than the zone closing in. Maybe it could have moving zones and longer maps like in Fortnite?
Conclusion: Try it out!