Physics Games and Physics-Based Game Downloads

Amazing Physically-Driven Fighting Game

Monday, August 21st, 2006 by Matthew in Physics Games
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (Rate this game! 1,322 votes, average: 4.23 out of 5)

I haven’t been this excited about a video game since I first discovered Ski Stunt Simulator. Toribash is a turn-based physics fighting game. The majority of fighting games rely on pre-built, unchanging animations. Although newer titles are incorporating motion blending and even including layers of physics simulation, the underlying motion is still keyframe based. Toribash does away with keyframes entirely, and the results are fantastic.

Controlling Your Character

Okay, so what exactly is happening in the above video? I usually stay away from describing a game in too much detail, but Toribash deserves an explanation. As I mentioned in the intro, the game is turn-based; each match is broken down into segments of time. While time is paused, you can set the behavior of your ragdoll’s joints: extend, contract, hold, or relax. So, for instance, you could raise your knee to kick by contracting both your hip and your knee. Check out their tutorial video for an idea:

Other games have attempted to implement full body, physics-based control mechanisms. The problem lies in the complication of movement. As a designer, you either need to simplify the control mechanism, automate some aspect of the process, or rely on convoluted controls. It’s a very hard problem to solve for a real-time game.

And that’s the brilliance of Toribash. They didn’t attempt to solve the complexity problem. It can take a full 20 seconds to set up your punch, kick, or grab just the way you want it. Because everything is turn-based, though, there isn’t any real penalty to this for the player. They’re given enough time to create very complex maneuvers.

Rock Paper BOO-YA!

Toribash is primarily a multiplayer game. It has a single-player mode, but there isn’t any AI to play against. You simply control two ragdolls simultaneously. While playing by yourself can be fun for setting up ridiculous replays, the real fun starts when you play a match against someone else. The default server lineup offers a variety of game settings (the server sets the amount of time that passes each turn, and the total time per match). The longer turn settings, 70 frames or so, have a very apparent rock-paper-scissors feel to them. Properly predicting and counteracting your opponent’s moves becomes a huge part of the strategy.

Toribash Screenshot Screenshot of Physics Games
(Toribash Game Screenshots)

All of the default servers have disqualification turned on, which means that a player loses if they touch the ground with anything except their hands or feet. Most servers leave the default of enabling dismemberment, too, so a valid strategy is to literally tear off someone’s arm and throw it on the ground. Instant disqualification!

We played some matches here with disqualification turned off, and it was an interesting dynamic. It’s much harder to turn a match over, though, but the ensuing brawls were rather entertaining for their brutality (and I’m talking Dan-in-the-thoroughfare quality brutality, sans eye gouging).

I’m Hooked

Every match in Toribash is a little different. You quickly learn a variety of opening styles, but even slight changes in your ragdoll’s forces will produce completely different results. There’s a huge amount of variety waiting in the wings, too–even something as simple as letting the player choose an opening stance would modify the gameplay significantly. The engine allows for an impressive array of moves, as their promo video shows:

I don’t have a lot of negative things to say about Toribash. It’s a remarkable implementation of a very solid concept. The controls are a little difficult to learn–give up on the keyboard keys and use the mouse wheel and right button–but on the whole the game is very approachable. It’s most fun to learn locally with some friends, so put up your own server (Linux only, for now). If you can play with other people who are just learning, the frustrations of your failures will be a lot more hilarious than if you were getting your ass handed to you online.

Let the Fighting Begin!

The game is free, too, and it’s a tiny download. Give it a shot, and don’t give it up on it too soon. It takes a bit to get into, but once you’re in you’ll be having a blast.

Download Toribash Game (9.1 MB) [mirror]

Head on over to the official Toribash website for news, downloads, and forums.

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45 Responses to 'Amazing Physically-Driven Fighting Game'

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  1. c--b said,

    on August 21st, 2006 at 5:21 pm

    I haven’t even read the review, or watched any of the videos; but this looks great. I know Im going to have a blast playing this.

  2. Splinter of Chaos said,

    on August 21st, 2006 at 7:21 pm

    Yes, this is just like N.
    So simple in design, yet – no AND – it gives you imence freedom.

  3. Walaber said,

    on August 22nd, 2006 at 12:52 am

    very cool game! I ended up playing online for about 2 hours tonight.

    the keyboard controls are a bit confusing, but taking Matt’s advice and focusing on the mouse helped quite a bit. This game has a lot of depth- I have a feeling this one will be staying on my hard drive for a while :D

  4. Peruna said,

    on August 22nd, 2006 at 3:50 am

    I told you this game. Good you liked it :DDD

  5. PoV said,

    on August 22nd, 2006 at 3:55 am

    Farking awesome.

  6. Dyer said,

    on August 22nd, 2006 at 4:11 am

    The Promo Video had me sold.

  7. Beakless said,

    on August 22nd, 2006 at 4:22 am

    BANG! Oh, sorry that’s the sound of my JAW HITTING THE FLOOR!

    This game is F*****G amazing and i can’t physically stop myself playing.

    Anymore fun would be unhealthy ^^.

    i give this game 5 *s * * * * *

    thank you sooooooo much for this, and it’s free!

  8. Dosou said,

    on August 22nd, 2006 at 4:15 pm

    I have literally dreamt about this game for years. I mean I imagined it in my head.

    Wow. it’s amazing.

  9. Onyxx said,

    on August 22nd, 2006 at 6:37 pm

    I’m Onyxx from over at Facepunch Studios, the forum for Garry’s Mod for Half Life 2. Anyway, one of our members posted about this in the general section and I say, this looks awesome! Fun-Motion is a pretty popular site on FP, ’cause we love physics games, that’s what Garry’s Mod is all about. =)

  10. Matthew said,

    on August 22nd, 2006 at 7:04 pm

    Hey Onyxx,

    I’ve seen some traffic from the Facepunch Studios forum. I registered there awhile back to reply to the first thread about Fun-Motion, too. Gary’s Mod is on my to-do list, by the way (and has been for awhile), so look for a review at some point down the road.

  11. on August 22nd, 2006 at 9:51 pm

    […] Toribash is a very smooth looking PC fighting game that is also very free. (via robot wisdom) […]

  12. Alex said,

    on August 23rd, 2006 at 2:23 am

    AAA Game
    F****** Awesome !

  13. Gmod_user said,

    on August 23rd, 2006 at 3:22 pm

    I’m also from Facepunch and Play Garry’s Mod (hence the name) By the way.

    About the game, It is the best fighting game for the PC I have EVER played!
    The controls take about 30 minutes to get a hang of but from there, you can do the most amazing things I have ever seen!

    Very well-tuned physics, no graphics really at all, but that’s what makes the game awesome! A simple concept executed PERFECTLY!

    A very recommended download, I GUARANTEE you will like this game if you like fighting games!

  14. Onyxx said,

    on August 23rd, 2006 at 5:32 pm

    Yeah, I was wondering if Garry’s Mod qualified as a free enough game to be put on Fun-Motion. I’m going to be watching this site like a hawk for the review, but if you put a link to Facepunch, be sure to warn about grammar – they’re crazy about it. You get banned for bad grammar, and if not for Facepunch I’d sound like this:

    “ya, i wuz wundring bout if gmod cuallifieed as a freeeeeee enuf gam 2 b put on fun-moshun” =D

  15. Onyxx said,

    on August 23rd, 2006 at 5:33 pm

    I just realized my first post sounded like an ad, it wasn’t meant to be >_

  16. Dwhiffing said,

    on August 23rd, 2006 at 10:36 pm

    Had a few good games with you. I ripped your head off once! :D

    Anyways, your website has provided me with many hours of entertainment; so I have to thank you!

    Keep up the good work.

  17. Bobo00711 said,

    on August 24th, 2006 at 6:56 am

    This game rox!

    Cool in multiplayer! it’s fun, but a little too long when you wait your turn in multiplayer =(

  18. on August 24th, 2006 at 7:11 am

    […] Fun-Motion has a great post up on Toribash. Watch the videos there to see what a turn-based, physics-simulating, fighting game looks like. Great style. […]

  19. dc443 said,

    on August 24th, 2006 at 9:39 am

    holy christ! video was AWESOME

    downloading NOW

    I have always dreamed about a turn based physics game and this friggin nails it.

  20. Dclone2 said,

    on August 24th, 2006 at 9:44 am

    I’m also from Facepunch, and I must say, this game is now my favorite free game ever. It’s so fun and diverse! I love the ripping off limbs part aswell. The only request I would give to the creator(s) is maybe add some weapons ; ).
    I heard something about a new version, does anyone know anything about this?

  21. Onyxx said,

    on August 24th, 2006 at 2:30 pm

    Fun-Motion needs to merge with Facepunch somehow =D

  22. Canesfan said,

    on August 24th, 2006 at 3:31 pm

    Yea, I’m from Facepunch too. Nice to hear that G-mod is getting a spot, here, and Dclone, in version 2 there will be weapons.

  23. Verners said,

    on August 25th, 2006 at 1:09 am

    This game is great.

    Needs a lobby and so you can make servers in the game, and something to do while waiting in line, but else its top!!!

  24. Björn said,

    on August 25th, 2006 at 9:03 am

    Wow. This is really a great game, takes a little to get into it, but I just had my first two matches online, and it’s simply fantastic.

  25. diaperzoo said,

    on August 26th, 2006 at 7:06 pm

    This game is too hard to figure out. How do you make him make the guy punch without throwing himself off balance? The most entertainment i’ve gotten out of this was watching the replays. A tutorial wouldn’t hurt…

  26. Dclone2 said,

    on August 27th, 2006 at 10:34 am

    You have to make him move other limbs aswell to balance himself out. Just like in real life :D.

  27. Buster said,

    on August 31st, 2006 at 6:13 pm

    I just had a great idea… There should be a mix of Ski Stunt Simulator and Toribash! You’d control a 3-D ragdoll skiing down a slope turn-by-turn. And you could play online to either race people or try to kill them before they can reach the bottom. I would play that even more than Toribash and Ski Stunt Simulator combined….. Oh, wait… That WOULD be Toribash and Ski Stunt Simulator combined.

  28. Buszmen said,

    on September 8th, 2006 at 10:51 am

    The game will no longer be free. From 2.0 it will be a shareware :(

  29. 1337Dude said,

    on September 12th, 2006 at 6:26 pm

    The game isn’t free anymore. If you aren’t purchasing the game with a good reason, chances are they will ban you from the forums (and possibly the IRC). The moderators and the creator have pretty low maturity levels. Most people would most likely agree that this game isn’t worth 15 dollars (which is even soon to be be 25 dollars). That’s a pretty hefty price lift considering they aren’t adding anything too decent and you can get many better games for the price.

  30. isador21 said,

    on September 17th, 2006 at 8:59 pm

    You obviously don’t understand how complex that game’s code is … 1337Dude, respect Hampa for all his great work, call him immature if you wish (you’re probably just saying this cause he banned you from the forums or some other reason) but the fact is that Hampa is a god among the game developers and his work deserves the 25$, even more.
    play a game a say its awesome, as soon as it starts making profit, you’ll eventually blast it, thats what I hate about ”1337” people.
    and how the heck do you expect that game to be more complete than that?
    if you cant answer that by something else than ”more human-like characters” or ”weapons” (which are already implemented), than go back to your freewares.

  31. rockintom99 said,

    on September 18th, 2006 at 11:49 pm

    I’ve been playing this game for about 4 days now, online almost exclusively, and about 5 hours a day. It is beyond addictive. Quite possibly one of the best games i’ve ever played.

  32. Dosou said,

    on September 22nd, 2006 at 7:35 pm

    A part of my previous comment got to the bottom of the site. :]


  33. That guy... said,

    on September 24th, 2006 at 9:11 am

    I too am from Facepunch, as my name on there is Fish_poke (banned right now for link) and I learned about this game here, VERY FUN! But it gets boring after a while after you have done about everything! At first fun, but then repetitive! So I give this game a 7/10!

  34. Kurrus said,

    on October 30th, 2006 at 1:25 pm

    Guys, download the “instagib” mod. That will be your best download in a LONG time. It’s worth it. And so is the 20$ this game costs (its actually the first shareware game I buy).


  35. ws said,

    on December 29th, 2006 at 12:29 pm

    What? This is the best rated?:( I am not impressed. It can not even be considered a real game, and it doesn’t have goals or challenges. The controls are not that good which is why you see odd movement. most of the time. Their should be a side window with 3 views of the person to be able to move would be helpful. Also the game adds unrealistic physics. Come on how how many people can rip off a head with a punch. lol

    It is interesting but not the best.

  36. Palludan said,

    on January 24th, 2007 at 11:19 am

    This game is so awesome. It takes a bit to understand the basics, but once you understand them, the game is awesome.

  37. Toribash User said,

    on January 28th, 2007 at 2:03 pm

    Hey, about the weapons thing some people want, you just have to download the latest version of toribash and Torimod, which lets you use ski poles, swords, knives, battlestaffs and more. It’s tottally worth it, I haven’t played Default Toribash for some time now because of the mods.

  38. Mr.Deanster said,

    on January 28th, 2007 at 6:37 pm

    The newest version of this game has weapons like swords and staffs. There is even a jousting mode. Even if the game isnt free anymore, many people believe Hampa is being to generous with the non registered version. You can STILL play multiplayer and single player. All in all i just recently bought this game and found the team that made this very helpful. I give it a big two thumbs up!

  39. Ali-G said,

    on January 29th, 2007 at 2:43 pm

    Do you know in wich program was this game made???
    And where can I download the free version of Gerry s mod .. cuz now is it for $$$

  40. dapaperboy said,

    on February 24th, 2007 at 3:21 am

    this game will entertain you for hours and you will still play it. buy the game u will loooooooove it it! to use mods open your toribash folder and select torilanch. this lets u open the mods but for some reason you have to open the mods in the folder and you cant take them out. put the toribash icon as a folder on ur desktop. trust me, it helps alot. the game is hard to get used to but go to and hit video thing and it shows u how 2 throw punchs, kicks and jump. also jsut ask around on the fourms on the site and ask in multiplayer. to change you name for toribash in the game hit setup and type ur name.

  41. ketchup said,

    on March 2nd, 2007 at 4:02 am

    Brilliant, complete freedom, I played for 6 hours last night without even realizing the elapsing of time

  42. Decimator said,

    on March 30th, 2007 at 3:27 pm

    Toribash is one of the coolest games ever. the unrealistic physics are what makes it fun. I mean honestly, if it had real world physics it wouldnt be that popular. I dont care how much the game costs i will probably play this on free mode for a LOOOOOOONGGGGGGG time!! By the way this site is awesome i’ve downloaded a crap load of games off here i never knew existed. You got me into physics games and now i cant come out!

  43. CrazyJake said,

    on April 10th, 2007 at 5:05 am

    Ragdolls + Fighting game= TOORRIIBASSHH!!!

    This game is sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo cool. You can pull off crazy maneuvers and stunts! So its a good break from those CHEESY fighting games. So you BAD to cheese off the same move over and over and over and over again. This will make Tekken or whatever fighting game out there look like CRAP!

  44. CrazyJake said,

    on April 13th, 2007 at 8:13 pm

    WTF? How come i cant use my mods?!

  45. Suru said,

    on October 26th, 2007 at 9:51 am

    Toribash 3.0 Released!

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