An indie console game by the name of KungFu Kickball is now available for arcades. This bit of news should have been posted before the month switched over to June, but we’ll make up for the delay on my end with some juicy details. Let’s go!

What Is KungFu Kickball?

In case you hadn’t heard of this one, it’s a game released to the major consoles and PC a couple of years ago. The gameplay is something like Super Smash Bros. meets NBA Jam. The point is to kick a ball into the opposing team’s bell – all while being able to land punches & kicks in-between. Something about it reminds me of games like Worms or Soldat too. Here’s the trailer:

When it comes to arcade action, this certain carries that energy. So what about it becoming an arcade machine?

KungFu Kickball Arcade

In talking with WhaleFood’s Jonah Wallerstein via email, here’s more info on how this has become a true arcade game. Jonah designed it as “a game that would be fun to bring to game conventions.” This evolved after he became friends with the Brooklyn-based Arcade Commons (the site is currently coming back with security alerts, so I’ll refrain from linking for now), he was able to get a cabinet made for both a local arcade into indie games called Wonderville, then for a recent MagFest. We’ve mentioned that event a few times over the years.  That event helped Jonah see the potential:

I quickly realized that [arcades] was the ideal format for my game. The controls and goal of the game is easy to understand, but the gameplay still has a lot of depth. And watching groups of friends yelling and cheering while playing your game is one of the most satisfying things you can see as a game developer. Although at that point I wasn’t even considering what it would mean to go into production with the cabinets.

Things changed when the owner of a bar-arcade in Beacon NY called Happy Valley reached out about wanting to buy one. He had played the game at Wonderville and thought it would do really well at his location. That made me realize that there might be a real market for these things. So I worked with Mark Kleeb (the owner of Wonderville and one of the original founders of Arcade Commons) to produce a second machine. And this one actually took quarters so we could see how it would perform in a more typical arcade setting.

After earning well there, they spoke with Bumblebear Games (makers of Killer Queen Arcade), then by partnering with Mark, the team went to Fun Company and now there’s a game that any arcade can buy, if they are so interested.

If you’d like to find out more about how this game came to be, check out Indie Arcade Wave’s episode where he spoke with Jonah about it:

Gameplay & content-wise, this is the same game as the console version, relying on the nature of arcades and social gaming to elevate the gameplay. There are 8 characters to choose from and 6 levels; it works in single-player mode too.

KungFu Kickball – The Cabinet

Sporting a 27″ HD screen and a 20W Amp sound system, this comes in a vibrant 4-player cabinet. It can connect to the internet for updates and as you can see, comes in a cabinet that fits well with 4-player cabs of the ’90s. With the cupholders, this should hold strong appeal for the bar/arcade scene, although it would be interesting to see how it performs in a regular arcade or FEC setting.

KungFu Kickball by WhaleFood Games

WhaleFood is currently taking orders for the game, which they are selling for $6495 (“shipping & tax included,” which is nice). There is an 8-12 week lead time, but I think it counts as “released.”

What do you think about this new game?

About the author: arcadehero View all posts by

I’m a lifelong fan of video games and I have been operating my own arcade, Arcade Galactic in West Valley City, Utah since 2008. Soft spots in my heart for Atari, Sega, and Nintendo.




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