Monday, 15 February 2021

Kick Challenger - Air Foot - Yasai no Kuni no Ashi Senshi (Famicom Disk System)

 Kick Challenger is a strange game. Not just mechanically or thematically, but in both respects. For a start, the boxart depicts the main character as a face-having tomato with a pair of two long legs stretching from its underside. This is inaccurate, though, as ingame, the protagonist, while being a tomato with a face, doesn't have legs, instead moving by way of a pair of Rayman-esque detached feet moving presumably though some kind of psychokinesis. I'm not just saying that to exagerrate the difference between representative artwork and what oyu see ingame, either: your two etached feet can move and cross over each other in ways that they wouldn't be able to, were they on the ends of legs attached at the other end to a body.


I might have been exaggerating slightly regarding the strangeness of the game's mechanics, on further reflection, "unusual" might be more appropriate. The aim of the game is mainly just to make your way up the screen, kicking the many bugs that try to stop you, and trying to keep out of bottomless pits, rivers, and other hazards. The twist is that this is a game that makes the act of walking itself an actual part of the game. Rather than just holding the direction you want to go in, and then your character walking semi-autmatically, you instead use the D-pad to move one foot at a time, with the A button switching between them, and the B bubtton being used to kick with your currently active foot. 


There are some quirks besides the controls, too! Like the weird little holes that sometimes appear when you kick the scenery, in lieu of a power up (and I'll get to those shortly). Put your foot down on it, and you're transported to another location; one that's similar enough in theme to where you were to let you know that it's part of the same stage, but with a different tileset and layout. It kind of reminds me of the front and back sides every stage has in Fantasy Zone II. Power ups are also collected by putting your foot down n them, and most of them come in the form of different kinds of shoes, which do actually get worn by your character while they're in effect, which is a nice little touch. The different kinds of shoes offer abilities like faster walking, better grip on slippy and sloped surfaces, and even the ability to walk on areas that would normally kill you. Other than the shoes, there's a power up that turns your head (which is a tomato under normal circumstances) into a can of bug spray, allowing you to shoot projectiles at your enemies from a distance.


Kick Challenger is a decent game. It's fun, it's unique, and it's neither too difficult nor too easy. It won't set your world on fire, but it's definitely worth playing, and you'll get at least get an hour or two of amusement out of it.


  1. Sounds like an interesting little gem, but man... I hate the picture of the Tomato on the title screen, wearing that psychotic grin, showing his bare feet. Gross :P

    1. i agree, it's one of the worst title screens i've ever seen