To-Fu: The Trials of Chi springs across screen

Spoiler alert! To-Fu: The Trials of Chi challenges both your puzzle solving and targeting skills to create an awfully fun romp. It isn’t a fast action shoot-em up, but if you can’t aim you can’t win. And the To-Fu master proves that the wiggle is as mighty as the rod. Worth every penny.

I’m a sucker for good puzzle game, as my two regular readers probably know. I’m not a great fan of shooting games, but when nobody dies they aren’t so bad. To-Fu: The Trials of Chi manages to combine both in a fun and creative way. It’s not a real shoot ’em up, you only get to take out crystal globes, but if you can’t shoot straight and bank shots, you’re going to have a hard time with the game.

In To-Fu: The Trials of Chi, a small tofu square becomes a martial arts master. Many readers might ask how To Fu could be be the central figure in an action game. Those readers never saw Wing Chun, where Michelle Yeoh kicks ass in a tofu shop with little trays of shiny, wiggling, bouncy tofu squares.

And I mean kick ass. You can pair Michelle Yeoh against Mila , Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jennifer Garner, Kate Beckensale, Jessica Alba, Lucy Liu and any army of zombies and Michelle would emerge unscathed. I would include Cynthia Rothrock in that list but all of the others can act. Including, by comparison, the zombies. Part Bond girl, part fantasy warrior goddess, if she were the To-Fu master, the game would be a best of best buys.

But the hero is just a cartoon tofu square. A cute one, mind you. But no, Michelle Yeoh. Like Michelle, however, he can leap, stretch and bounce off walls, all of which he needs to do to win.

The object of the game is to solve the maze (and it’s many hazards), collect gloves and find the pink fortune cookie. The fewer your moves, the better your result.

The game formula is familiar if you’ve played Cut the Rope or Max and the Magic Marker. Solve the puzzle by figuring out how to maneuver past obstacles in a maze. Collect as many objects as you can on the way. When you reach the exit (in this case, a giant pink fortune cookie) you move to the next level. You earn additional medals for collecting all the globes and mastering a maze in the minimum number of moves.

The fun of the game is shooting the To-Fu master. Like real tofu he bends and stretches, snaps and flies. You have to aim him at precisely the right angle to make the shot you want. You can also stretch him toward the globes to collect them without losing a move.

You have to stretch and snap To-Fu to get him where he needs to go. The right snap can send him safely across the maze. The wrong snap and he’s dead on arrival.

As you would expect, the To-Fu master faces a number of dangers. He can collide with spikes, be electrocuted, and buzz sawed. You may also have to make the perfect shot to toggle a switch or activate a portal to another section of the level. He bounces off metal walls, sticks to wood and slides down glass. Even worse, the walls could rotate while he jumps, causing him to crash into a wall of spikes.

To-Fu: The Trials of Chi challenges players with 100 levels and 20 bonus levels, each one reasonably challenging. The bonus levels can be played at any time, regardless of how many levels you’ve completed. Few two dollar games can deliver that much fun.

The only real extra is a dojo where you can practice To-Fu’s moves. Unfortunately it doesn’t provide the complete training experience. No glass walls and no obstacles to help brush up your skills.

If you can imagine a painful death, To-Fu can endure it. The game is infused with humor, and To-Fu’s expressions as he stretches and smashes are fairly entertaining. The color palette is a little washed out, but the motion is smooth and physics reasonably sophisticated. And To-Fu’s character is pretty irresistible. To-Fu: The Trials of Chi should be one of those games you can play and your kids will love as well.

Jenny Manytoes rates To-Fu: The Trials of Chi

Jenny Manytoes would make biscuits all over To-Fu: The Trials of Chi. The character has plenty of bounce and even cats can follow the action. I find myself stopping just short of rating it a Best Buy, but it’s definitely one of my personal favorites.

The Jenny Manytoes Rating System

Jenny Manytoes, our polydactyl cat

  • When Jenny makes biscuits on a product she thinks she’s in heaven.
  • When Jenny purrs over a product she’s very happy.
  • When Jenny naps next to a product it’s okay with her.
  • When Jenny bunches her tail she can live with a product, but she has higher expectations.
  • When Jenny leaves it in the litter box….I don’t think I need to explain this one.

About Phillip T Stephens

Phillip T. Stephens disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle twenty years before he was born, creating a time travel paradox so confusing it remains unspoken between physicists and sci-fi writers to this day. Follow @stephens_pt
This entry was posted in 5 Stars - Biscuits, Arcade Games, Entertainment, Games, Puzzle Games and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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