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There's something strange going on with SNK's The King of Fighters. Way back in March of 2012 an Android version of the classic 16-bit 2D fighter series was published, with a frustratingly short list of supported devices and no small amount of technical problems. The app disappeared from the US Play Store before too long, only to reappear this July. Now there's a brand new version, The King Of Fighters-A 2012, available alongside the original Android release.

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They appear to be two different games: the original is published by G-Gee, a publishing house that specializes in Japanese mobile ports (including beloved space shooter Ikaruga). That version is still priced at $2.99. G-Gee seems to have worked out the compatibility issues; the original game is available for almost every one of my 20 or so cached devices. The new game is published by SNK Playmore itself alongside their other franchises like Metal Slug and Samurai Showdown. The newer version includes more fighting characters, more modes, and a higher price tag at $6.99. Frustratingly, the new King Of Fighters-A 2012 is strangely limited by device: I'm seeing many new devices like the DROID Ultra and NVIDIA Shield as incompatible, while some older devices like the original Nexus 7 and DROID Incredible are good to go. Some custom ROMs are also incompatible.

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As far as gameplay goes, the new version adds a ton of characters and stages to SNK's fighter franchise. Endless battles, three-on-three tag team bouts, and a trial mode have been added as well, along with the genre standard art unlocks for various achievements. There's also an adapted virtual pad which reassigns some of the finger-busting super moves into a format more friendly for touchscreens, complete with a tutorial . (There is no mention of support for controllers of any kind.)

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It's just too bad that while the single-player mode seems to be getting quite a lot of attention, there's still no way to fight in multiplayer mode, either locally or over the Internet. That's a real bummer for anyone who wants to fight humans in their fighting game. The older version from G-Gee also lacks multiplayer. Which one should you get? Well the original is cheaper and works with more devices, but the newer one has more fighting characters. Or you could just hold out another year (or two, or three) for Street Fighter IV to get a localized release.

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • Carlos Paixao

    I am a great fan of SNK Neo Geo and I think we wont never meet something better than TKOF'97. My taste.

  • Himmat Singh

    What a weird thing. It is incompatible with ALL my cached devices. I have 10 or so of those, including the SGT/SGN 10.1, Acer A510, Padfone 2 and Xperia Ion. And no, it is not due to a region-lock...just plain old device-incompatibility.

  • Drem


  • senator

    I'll always avoid any G-Gee games, from experience it always problematic.

    So I'll pick this instead. rooster looks decent.

    btw, this is basically KoF XIII right ? either this or wait for windows version on steam next month (sep 13th).

  • Jeff Moreira

    finally released on Android.

    Loved the previous one missing characters.

  • dejavu2222

    This is NOT a 16-bit game. It wouldnt look as good if it was.

    • Primalxconvoy

      Er, have you SEEN metal slug 3? Neo Geo pushed the whole 16 bit era to its limits.

      Anyway, isn't the emulated version of this game far superior and, dare I mention it, free?

      • RenatoFontesTapia

        In any case THIS IS NOT A 16-BIT GAME!!!!


      • dejavu2222

        Yes, I have SEEN and PLAYED the Metal Slug games.

        Neo Geo games are NOT 16 bit.

        • Primalxconvoy


          "... The Neo Geo was marketed as 24-bit, though it was technically a parallel processing 16 bit system with an 8-bit Zilog Z80 as coprocessor. The coprocessor was used as a CPU, and for sound processing."

          - http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neo_Geo_(system)

          • dejavu2222

            :rolls eyes:

            Okay man you win.

          • Primalxconvoy

            To be fair, I have no knowledge of the neo geo. My friend came to visit last month and is a dedicated neo geo fan and when I booted up slug 3 on my ouya, I was amazed. Even more so when he told me it was a 16 bit game.

  • CptMunta

    The GeeGee version supports HID controllers. I can play it with my arcade stick and Bluetooth controller. Great for combo practice.
    The new app published by SNK isn't compatible with my S2. A 2012 is the better version but if it doesn't support controllers that would suck.
    Also note these are ports of KOF13 which was released on arcades and ps3 xbox in 2011 about to be released on steam this month.

  • Guest

    I'll just say two words: Blue Mary.

  • bhai

    game close itself after play 2 or 3 rounds on my LG optimus g pro what can I do