Toribash is a physics-based, ragdoll fighting game. It’s available for free on multiple platforms including Windows, Mac, and Linux. Last Summer, it also came out for the Nintendo Wii as a WiiWare title for about $10. Toribash is not new, it’s been under active development since 2006. The current version is pretty polished, strangely addictive, and has a dedicated community following it.
Toribash works as a slow-motion turn-based fighting game. You’ll have a set amount of time in your fight and you get to control each joint independently of your fighter every so many frames. For example, you could extend the ankles and knees of your fighter to jump. Your next turn you might contract your pecs to bring your arms in and contract an elbow to make a punch. You would keep making these moves until time is up. The winner is determined by different rules like a body part touching the ground or whoever causes the most damage to the other fighter.
You make these moves turn-by-turn clicking any joint/muscle you want to change. You control the camera around the fight with W,A,S,D and stamp the end of your turn with the space bar. You can react to your opponent or drive the fight. One all the time is used up, it will be replayed to show the stylish fight in real-time. With enough practice, you can start making moves like these guys:
Toribash has a fight school to teach you how to make the moves, a free play option to fight against an unmoving opponent, and the means to play online. There are also a number of ways to customize the game like styling your character or implementing mods. There are tons of mods but some of the ones I’ve tried out include giving the player a frisbee or a sword, having a dive competition, or setting up an Assassin’s Creed jump.
You can save the replays you make and share them with others. They’re saved in C:GamesToribashReplays as .rpl files. They are a string of command for Toribash to interpret, so they can’t be converted to another video format (from what I can find). Most people use FRAPS to record their fights so they can share on YouTube.
If you’re interested in an addictive take on fighting games, check out Toribash. There’s a lot more to it than what I covered here but I’m just getting started.