Recently featured in a Weekend Download feature, Toribash is still making headlines more than two years after its release. Its creator, Hampus Söderström (a.k.a. "Hampa"), a Swedish software developer, recently converted this fan-favorite to a simpler flash version, aptly named Toriflash. For all you hard-core Toribash fans, this means you can enjoy a quick rumble from any PC with Web access, perhaps if you're at work and you'd like to pretend you're sucker-punching your boss in the face. And for those of you newbies who haven't played the original yet, Toriflash might serve as a lighter introduction into the whole Toribash phenomenon. (Just search "Toribash" on YouTube to see what I mean; fans have made hundreds of videos of their favorite face-smashing, limb-ripping moments, reminiscent of the Line Rider phenomenon.)
The objective and gameplay of Toriflash is nearly identical to its predecessor, although obviously toned-down in both graphics and physics so that it could be ported to flash. Two fighters stand side-by-side. You play Tori, the red fighter, and your opponent is Uke, the blue fighter. By manipulating eight different joints (shoulders, elbows, hips and knees) target attacks toward your opponent to score as many points as possible. Just as in Toribash, the characters are subject to rag doll physics; the goal being to contract or extend various joints in order to spring your warrior into action. Just a click of the mouse extends or contracts each joint, causing a number of different actions when used in combination.
In each match, you have 500 "frames" in which to fight your opponent. After setting your initial joint manipulations, a single tap of [space] will begin the match. The timer will freeze every 30 frames (or one second) to allow you to re-adjust your joints and attempt to perform new moves, or perfect one in progress. If you'd like the action to speed up, just hold down [space] and the frames will go by without stopping.
Analysis: Toriflash is currently still in its beta stages, which will probably be apparent whether you've played the original or not. Newcomers to the game may find the learning curve a bit steep. Oftentimes your character will just flop around a bit, arms and legs flailing, unless you have a specific, intentional strategy worked out. (Ironically this can still rack points up, as any offensive tap to the opponent scores.) The majority of moves available in Toribash just aren't possible in Toriflash, including the ability to grab your opponent. To sum it up, yes; Toriflash is a watered-down version of the original, missing most of the features that turned Toribash into an overnight classic. However, that doesn't mean that you can't have fun with it, whether you're a Tori-fan or not. Half the fun is inventing your own moves, discovering what combinations of body manipulation will cause the most damage to your opponent. My suggestion is to remember that Toriflash is still in the early stages of development. If you don't bother questioning it's worth as a fully-functional game yet, you just might just have a blast.