When it comes to fighting games, the rule usually applies that the more brutal the action is, the more fun the whole experience can be. This is definitely true of games like Mortal Kombat, which take the levels of violence to an extreme level whilst the other two of the big three, Tekken and Street Fighter, opt for a less violent but equally as entertaining experience. The popularity of these fighting games is undeniable: Tekken has sold over 40 million copies, Street Fighter over 34 million, and Mortal Kombat around 26 million. It's a pretty difficult task to name any notable fighting games that aren't console/PC based however; flash-based fighting games are a little more scarce than their paid-for counterparts. You've got some fine examples like Sonny, Arcuz, and Duelling Blades, but a martial arts fighting game is a big ask, particularly one in 3D. There are some out there however, and Kickboxing is one of these titles bringing a specific form of martial arts into your browser, free of charge and without too much fuss. Simple controls, fast progression, and straight-to-the-point action should be expected as standard here.
Kickboxing is a 3D game that can be found on Miniclip, a website that is known for its eclectic mix of games from a huge range of genres; it's also known for the high number of quality games on its pages. This particular game revolves solely around the sport of kickboxing and looks a little bit like your typical one-on-one fighting game, not dissimilar to Tekken or Mortal Kombat in appearance. To get started you just have to choose your character that you wish to play as and select to begin the game. The main game mode is much like a tournament where you go up against various opponents - winning one round is all that is required to move on to the next enemy. Once you begin you will be stationed opposite your foe and you just have to wear his health bar down until it is empty before he is able to diminish yours to the same state. Whoever is the first to be knocked out will win the round, it's a simple as that.
The controls are displayed handily in the ‘help' section when you click on it. The controls are pretty standard for a fighting game: the directional arrows control your movement, and double-tapping the left/right arrow will allow for rapid backwards and forwards movement respectively. The X button lets you perform a "high" attack which is usually a punch, and the C key results in a kick-based attack. You can also perform a special move by pressing the spacebar, but you have to have landed enough moves successfully in order to charge up your special before you are able to use it. You'll know when your special move is charged because your character will glow a certain colour when you've built up enough special to use.
When it comes down to it, this game isn't particularly complicated: you can get stuck straight into it, particularly if you choose 'quick match', which lets you go head to head after choosing who you and your enemy will be. In terms of content, you've got a few unlockable characters to discover by making progress in the game. The special moves are fairly standard and consist of things like uppercuts or super kicks which take a considerable quantity of health from your opponent.
For a browser game, the graphics are fairly decent. The game uses the shockwave engine which allows it to come to you in 3D as opposed to two-some two-dimensional fighting games like Monster Slayers. Still, the textures are a little basic and anyone used to Tekken or Mortal Kombat shouldn't expect anything close to the standard of these particular games. The game could also do with a few more moves and variations since kickboxing itself is much more varied than this game would indicate. The moves feel like they are lacking power and could do with a little more flare as well as more unique animations to make it all look a little better.
This game isn't to be mistaken for a complicated fighting game that hopes to emulate games such as Tekken. Instead, it should be viewed as a light-hearted fighting game that can be picked up almost instantaneously and enjoyed for brief bouts of kickboxing fun without having to become too involved in the action.