Kong: a furious top down 2D shooter

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Kong is a free 2D top-down shoot em up in a full 3D environment.It can be played single player or multiplayer over LAN or the internet, and features all the usual game modes such as capture the flag, deathmatch, and team deathmatch. It offers a variety of weapons to use and objects to interact with.

I am often amazed at the amount of effort and attention to detail that is put into creating some free games, and Kong is a good example of this.

Viewed top-down from a 2D perspective, it could be a 2D clone of Unreal Tournament or Quake 3.

Except technically the environment and everything in it is 3D-modeled, which means that if you have a good 3D card you can get the game to look really good. I’ve also seen screenshots where the game is depicted in more of a first person shooter mode, although I’m not sure how to get that (or even that it is desirable in the first place).

Here are some notes on this one:

  • Kong Screenshot Jungle ThemeThe game experience: is fast paced and furious, as you might expect from this sort of game. I will say that the game has somewhat of a learning curve; stick with easy bots to begin with or you’ll be toast. One thing I would suggest is to go to the controls section in the settings and set the mouse sensitivity (there’s also a “look sensitivity” though I’m not sure what that is).
  • Single/multi player: you could play single player against the computer (you need to add the bots once the game starts) or you could find a LAN or internet multiplayer game. The game will quickly find internet games for you if you are connected to the internet, but there aren’t many of these on account of the game being so new, but I was able to find them nonetheless. Although playing against the computer is cool, playing against humans is much more fun.
  • Controls: the usual WASD and mouse combo, including in-game chat. If you are using a laptop (i.e. do not have a mouse), then I recommend you get one to play this as attempting to play with a touch pad is a recipe for frustration (as I found out).
  • Maps: on first install it comes with a number of built in maps that you could play but it also includes a map editor to create your own (or you could get more off the internet).
  • The terrain: the geography includes multiple planes at different heights, such that you could jump onto objects in a step-like manner to get from the bottom to the top, which adds an interesting dynamic. You can jump off walls by jumping onto a wall and quickly jumping again, but timing is key for this one. There are also teleporters (portals) and jump pads that you can step on that can teleport you to another section of the map or throttle up upwards or in a certain direction. Use these
  • Objects: there are many objects such as weapons, health powerups, and armour. I wish the developers either (a) had a popup message explaining what an item does as you picked it up, or (b) explained the different items with pictures on the items section of their website. (Or both).

Some tips

  • Try to avoid engagement until you collect the kind of weapons that you like. Understand the tradeoff between accuracy, speed, and power that the different weapons represent.
  • Collect armour. This will protect you when you are shot, so seek it out.
  • Use geography to your advantage. Portals and jump pads can get you out of hot water quickly. Some weapons even travel through these and can be used to good effect against the enemy.

The verdict: a very nice game, although it might require some time and effort in getting to learn and master it. If there’s one thing I would change it would be to provide the ability to zoom out such that you could see more of the map inside your screen, as at times the appearance of opponents seems a bit too sudden and chaotic, and more distance or perspective IMHO would have made for a better playing experience.

Although there are a number of freeware games that are similar (e.g. Bobo Violent 2, Bloodmasters, etc.) Kong seems to offer the most bang for the (proverbial) buck. Download and try it today!

A video of the game in action:

Version Tested: 1.10

Compatibility: WinAll. A decent graphics card preferrable.

Go to the game page to download the latest version (approx 23 megs).