GAME NAME: Funk of Titans
DEVELOPER(S): EnjoyUp Games
PUBLISHER(S): EnjoyUp Games
PLATFORM(S): Wii U
GENRE(S): Action, Adventure
RELEASE DATE(S): May 14th, 2015
Funk of Titans from EnjoyUp Games is a colourful runner style game that blends 1970’s and modern pop culture with ancient Greek mythology. You play as Perseus, the son of Zeus, and your mission is to protect and restore the holy music of funk to the world. The game has three worlds, each based around a particular genre of music with over a dozen levels so even though it may not seem like it at first there’s actually a bit to do. You’ll go through each one running, jumping and slashing your way to the end of each level which is marked by a big neon colored jukebox collecting gold vinyl records and Pegasus idols along the way.
One of the first things that I noticed aside from the plentiful and in most cases rather amusing pop culture references, was the unique type of leveling system in the game. In order to gain levels, you must complete a specific set of tasks called “Zeus’ Heroic Missions”. Instead of awarding experience points or XP when you complete a task or tasks, once you finish the entire set of challenges you will automatically gain a level. This ties into what weapons and gear you have access to in the in-game store where some of the more comical references to pop culture are made. The gold records you collect throughout the levels are effectively currency in which you “spend” to unlock weapons and gear, and depending on how many you have and what your current level is dictates which items you can get.
The level design in Funk of Titans is pretty interesting in that it feels quite heavily inspired by platformers such as Donkey Kong Country with its use of bounce platforms and swinging mechanics to add verticality to the levels. With multiple paths to take, it’s pretty well a given that if you want to get all of the collectibles you’ll need to play each level more than once. In addition to multiple paths, the fact that you will need certain weapons to break through doorways to snag a collectible here and there definitely adds to the replay value of the game.
Although, even despite these things, once you play through it once you may not go back to it as the novelty seems to wear off quickly. The difficulty curve also seems a bit unbalanced since some levels seem drastically more difficult than the previous or the next. For the most part though, as long as your timing is good the levels are quite simple as all you really have to do is jump and attack since Perseus runs by himself. The bonus levels are, well, I’m going to be completely honest with you here, a Flappy Bird clone. On top of that, they really make no sense to me as to why there are flying cheeseburgers and cupcakes or why you are on a rocket powered Pegasus on a stick. The vinyl records and cassette tapes make perfect sense and go along with the theme, but otherwise the bonus levels seem rather rushed and almost like they were just quickly tacked on in an effort to add content.
The art style is very cartoony, which I like, especially the commentary from Perseus which shows up above his head in a comic book style font. I thought that his little quips and classic catchphrases were comical, but repetitive. After a while the redundancy of the voice acting was just kind of irritating and I found myself simply not paying attention to it since as I said, it also pops up above his head as a text dialogue. The graphics aren’t too terribly bad, but they aren’t superb either. The only thing I really noticed was an occasional instance of a screen stutter which was really only during the bonus levels.
Also, aside from off TV play the GamePad really isn’t used for anything aside from an input device. I definitely would have like to have seen it implemented a little more even if it’s just for something like simple stat tracking for Zeus’ Heroic Missions progress.
Although Funk of Titans is a rather short and repetitive game, for $8.99 on the eShop it’s fairly inexpensive and if you’re just looking to kill a few hours some afternoon, it might not be a bad bet. The pop culture references are definitely good for a quick laugh as I did find myself cracking up quite a bit, but the novelty wore off quickly. Overall it’s a bit amusing and quite easy to play.