A slow-paced endless runner with little variety and a bizarre theme
Funk of Titans
Platform: Xbox One (reviewed)
PRESENTED as a melange of funk music and ancient Greek mythology wrapped around a side-scrolling platformer, the premise underpinning Funk of Titans, the debut console title from Spanish indie developers, A Crowd of Monsters, is an incongruous one. The budget digital title aims to be a fun, scattershot affair that does not take itself too seriously, but it never quite offers enough in the way of variety to click.
So consciously absurd is the plot, it is worth a quick summary: the player steps into the shoes of Perseus, the son of Zeus, who we are informed is in fact the father of all funk music. Faced with the growing scourge of other types of music, the chosen one of Perseus must travel through three worlds - rock, pop and rap - defeating their influence and ultimately “restoring the funk.” The concept has the same glee and whimsy that characterised platformers of the 1990s; unfortunately, Funk of Titans fails to live up to its zany promises.
The ideas and motifs soon become an afterthought in the campaign
As soon as you start to play the campaign proper, these ideas and motifs become an afterthought. The various genres are not represented in any tangible way, either audibly or visually. The only time the music is prominent is during the quick time event boss battles, with the lion’s share of the action taking place in a series of realms with repetitive level design, environmental obstacles and enemies. Indeed, for vast swaths of what is a brief experience - it is possible to complete the game in under three hours - there are only three types of enemy to contend with at a speed that is leisurely at best.
This simplicity extends to the control system. Although it is advertised as a platformer, the game is essentially an endless runner. Perseus darts forwards unprompted, meaning that the player is responsible solely for jumping and attacking via the A and X buttons respectively. There is no sense of finely honed economy at work here; it just feels like a port of a free to play mobile game, and again, opportunities to utilise the musical themes - perhaps by combining the platform elements with rhythm action game style mechanics - go unaddressed.
For all its wacky intentions, it is a game of low ambition and dated conventions
Fundamentally, Funk of Titans sets out to capture the wacky, rule-breaking spirit of side scrollers of years gone by, but it makes the cardinal sin of being really rather boring. It is a game of low ambition and dated conventions that cannot be rescued by what feels like a hastily tacked on musical theme. It is certainly funky, but perhaps not in the way that A Crowd of Monsters intended.
TIPS AND TRICKS:
Don’t just collect the coins that are visible. Smashing objects during your run allows you to loot items
Completionists - or achievement hunters - should always aim to take the highest, most out of the way routes possible in order to complete all three objectives in a level
Some secret objectives require you to finish the level naked (don’t ask). This requires you to take one hit and complete the run.