Toribash: The Video Game That Dismembers Players, Joint by Joint

Have you ever felt like ripping the arms off an annoying co-worker and beating them silly with their own limbs? I personally haven’t had the urge, but hey – if you have, you will love Toribash. It’s the most realistic fighting game I’ve ever played. Certainly not the prettiest – but I’m working a theme here this week, with Defcon and it’s wireframe graphics, Toribash has real 3D characters… stick figures with spherical joints – but nevermind that. It’s the gameplay that counts, right?

Toribash looks like a ton of fun. I say looks because the game is so complex, it’s really daunting for a first-time player. I’ll give a good example of how complex the game is, taken verbatim from a how to punch tutorial video on YouTube:

Press C
Left Rotate Chest
Contract Right Arm
Contract Right Pecs
Extend Left Leg
Extend Left Pecs
Contract Right Hip
Press Space

You want me to do what? I’ll explain with a visual aide, courtesy of IKEA – they sell these mannequin posing dolls made of wood that illustrate my point almost perfectly, just $5.99 plus tax. It’s a steal! I’m not quite sure what I would do with one of them, but it’s a real bargain. Ok, back to my point – how hard the game is:

That’s a little bit of a exaggeration, but not by that much. It’s like a stop-action IKEA wooden doll posing contest, and whoever happens to deal more damage before time runs out, wins. Part of the beauty is that no two games are exactly alike – it’s near impossible that two separate players would click the same muscles to flex and relax more than once. Now, imagine that you face two of these dolls in front of each other, with each person controlling the stick figure madly clicking away … wait… this reminds me of a childhood game I played…

For someone to have played regular fighting games all their lives and finally meet Toribash, it’s as if Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots Robots gained about 8 more buttons. It’s mind boggling. Now if you saw a bunch of people sitting around, playing with the 10-button Rock’em Sock’em, wouldn’t you be interested in learning how to play? It’s similar to the first impression I had of Guitar Hero – “That’s retarded, how can that be fun?” Hopefully now you know exactly what I’m talking about. I still can’t quite wrap my head around the complexity of actually moving a characters’ muscles one at a time, but it’s FUN.

And that’s what matters most when you’re playing a game.

One piece that is really key to building and maintaining the vast community that never sleeps is rewarding those who put in time and money into it. Yep, I said money. The game integrates into forums, allowing you to spend points gained on customizations for your character. Acid Blood. Custom skins you can upload, just like an avatar on a normal forum. The catch? If you win a game, you win 5 points. Acid Colored Blood costs 16,000 points. Yes, that is not a typo. You’ll need to win 3200 matches to buy Acid Colored Blood. You can buy points, or you can buy a psudo subscription to the game and gain anywhere from 50 to 1000 points per win – at a cost of $5 and up per month. The community is thriving.

Download Toribash for Linux or visit the Toribash website for more information.

This game might be something you’re interested in, it might not be. I guess the best bet is to watch this promotional video of a few versions ago. If it looks like fun to pull off a triple-gainer roundhouse kick to the face, you may want to invest the time required in learning how to actually do something like that. Or maybe you should just stick to the completely boring two-button-knock-their-block-off version. Your choice.