Boet Fighter, a retro arcade-style side-scrolling beat ’em-up game, developed and crafted by Cali4ways Games.
Based in Johannesburg, South Africa, fans and followers of the team and Boet Fighter game have always pointed to the homegrown passion put into the creation of Boet Fighter; resulting in a funny and to the point game, with a unique art-style that has become the notable trademark of Cali4ways Games. (Discussed with the creators in our world-first interview)
The game was first released on 08 October 2019, with positive to mixed reviews from both critiques and fans alike. Most early gamers complaining about a few basic problems like saving points and a few glitches here and there, but most if not all admired the games ballsy attitude, humour and art style.
The version update, a few weeks after launch, made a lot of gameplay and flow improvements, and made a more long-lasting experience for gamers. Cali4ways Games has also now released Boet Fighter on Android and iOS.
Game Review: Is Boet Fighter a Good Game?
I’ve been a big supporter of the guys over at Cali4ways Games for a while, even using their offices from time to time (thanks for the coffee lads). Anticipating the launch of Boet Fighter for ages! I’ve even got a cameo! (Take that gaming media)
I was excited to give the game a run as soon as I can. I managed to jump in after the version 2 update.
A Lot of Fun!
Boet Fighter takes inspiration from the stereotypical male personas and identities throughout South Africa: Boets (Also sometimes called Oaks, Chinas or Buds), generally associated with a highly masculine male South African that enjoys parties, impressing local females with their muscles and machismo and sporting a need to prove themselves in drinking games or random bar fights.
Wikipedia’s weaker definition in my opinion: Noun. boet (plural boets) (South Africa, informal) A brother; often prefixed informally to a man’s first name. (South Africa, informal) A familiar form of address: pal, mate.
As a South African, the jokes and jibes are hilarious! They make for a good giggle, as so much of the content and even story is relatable to many a bar adventure on my part. In that, it’s a really fun game for all South Africans, and something we can always point to in good spirit!
Sure, people outside of South Africa will know what each boet-archetype implies (I’m looking at the Jordie Shore or Jersey Shore crowd) and some jokes may go overhead, but hey, it’s not for them as much as it is for your South African indie-game bro tribe, of which, I happen to be a member.
Gameplay: does it pack the punch?
The first stage of Boet Fighter is nearly perfect and well polished. You can tell the team put a lot of effort in developing the world, the animations and story and kept it as on the nose fun as possible.
Side-scrolling punching is easy and feels like it’s the spiritual throw-back to any fighting arcade game most 90’s kids are used to. Though this does mean you tend to button mash a bit, and the controls can seem a touch unresponsive to what modern gamers may be used to. Saying that, as an arcade game, it works; you do get punch face, slap a couple of oaks and move around each fight scene easily.
“Why are you running!?”
Sure, there are some odd things here and there, and the game is by no means an “easy” game, and nor should it be, but some things are odd; like one boss running away faster than you can catch up klap him, but, nothing a minor update to the character can’t solve. Let’s put that down to learning improvements that I’m sure the team will work on.
Overall, Boet Fighter is fun, it looks great, and for Cali4ways Games, definitely a property they can develop over time.
Longevity: Klap back!
I played, and I played and played. I WON! But, I felt, like, it was “Fun while it lasted” rather than; “let’s go again”. While Boet Fighter is definitely a lot of fun, and a great time for the gamer, it did take me a while to realise what was missing.
Why didn’t I want to replay?
I think Boet Fighter could do with something that made Arcade games “viral” for their day, something that made your friends and you meet up at the corner store after school every day and spend your parents 50 cent coins: points.
It took me a while, but the reason why there’s no motivation to keep going in Boet Fighter is that, besides the humour, there’s little reward. It seems simple, but a points system per punch and smash would feel great! Adding in an online feature where you and your friends are ranked, could be even more epic!
I’m no developer, and I’d like to be fair, but I think the addition of a points system of some form, would dramatically improve the South African replay value.
Having sent my views about Boet Fighter to Cali4ways Games themselves, I got some fair feedback:
“We’re still klapping a few upgrades to the game like throws and weapons. The boss AI is a constant tweak so I’ll keep the above in mind. The points thing has been… contentious.”
It’s something, and I hope to see updates from the team soon.
The community of Boet Fighters:
One of Boet Fighter’s most interesting achievements though was it’s the ability to create a dedicated and passionate community of Boet Fighters, one that is as passionate for the game as they are the dop and chop. Cali4ways Games even included a fan competition and featured the winner in the game as a boss!
It’s a known fact, that most early promotion of the Boet Fighter game was word of mouth, and in this age of paid social media, it’s the viral wet dream of any a social media marketer.
I hope we can see some awesome updates to Boet Fighter and some exciting new indie titles from the studio in the future. Good luck team!