“Go, Bacon! Get them, Avocado!” scream hundreds of PAX attendees. They’re watching round 1 of the Omegathon – the Omeganauts are playing Boomerang Fu.
Boomerang Fu is a competitive couch multiplayer game in which you aim to slice and dice your anthropomorphic food frenemies using boomerangs. It is the first solo creation of Paul Kopetko, who has a self-confessed love of frisbee physics and couch co-op games. You put those elements and some edible in a blender, and out comes Boomerang Fu.
As one of multiple food-based characters, players can dash, slice and throw boomerangs across a few different maps in three game modes – classic deathmatch, team deathmatch, and golden boomerang (item-based king of the hill).
“I’ve always loved anthropomorphised everyday things. I always think of my kettle at home as having a personality,” Kopetko says when asked about the characters in the game. “I love that everyone has a favourite character from Boomerang Fu. Deep down I have always connected with the banana.” He’s right. I identified immediately with the slice of bread.
Your attacks can be made spicier by acquiring the power-ups that spawn randomly on the map. These power-ups stack and can turn your boomerangs into fireballs, allowing you to dash across walls, make you immune to attacks… the list goes on. It turns the battle field into Boomerang chaos and means your competitive banter can include “toasted”, “sliced”, and “melted”.
Boomerang Fu was heavily inspired by local multiplayer games like Overcooked, Towerfall and Love is in a dangerous space time. Kopetko also took inspiration from battle royale games. No, there are no parachute drops (yet). Instead, on some maps, tiles fall away and restrict the playing space.
The variety of the maps surprised me! All of the maps had the same features (tiles, trees, ponds, teleportation portals, and bridges), but the location and quantity of these features allows for different strategies to be used. For example, one map has a rotating bridge in the middle, which allows for many tricky escapes. Another map is covered in trees. When I played with three other PAX attendees, this map had every player hiding and waiting for everyone else to make the first move. My hiding location was given away when I threw a boomerang at my Avocado foe. The call of “smashed Avocado on toast” was quickly met with “I’ll have two slices, thanks” as Eggplant’s boomerang sliced me in two.
In my opinion, great couch co-op brawlers have a low barrier to entry and facilitate rapid skill acquisition and an ever-changing meta game. Boomerang Fu satisfies that criteria… and features cute food characters. It was one of the few games at PAX this year that had me laughing out loud, trying to improve, and wanting to keep playing. For those reasons, Boomerang Fu is one of my favourite indie game of PAX Aus 2018.
Boomerang Fu is only in beta, but once it’s released (hopefully next year), it is a game you’ll keep coming back to.