November 1st, 2012 | By Miyuki Hata
Funky Smugglers by 11bitstudios, and I think it’s a lot of other 70′s lingo words, but snazzy words won’t tell you what it’s like to play the game.
The tagline for the game is one with funky 70′s music, vibes, and a promise of a good time. It definitely did so. I admit I was worried at first. 70′s music can easily get annoying, but Funky Smugglers managed to avoid that. There’s only one song that I’ve heard so far, but it’s pretty catchy and even though I’ve heard it a lot, it hasn’t gotten stuck in my head and I look forward to hearing it while I play.
The gameplay isn’t too difficult. You just use your fingers to grab the red objects and to avoid the green ones. You start with three suitcases of health and if you miss a red object or grab/touch a green object by accident you lose one. If you hold onto a red object you can grab another one at the same time and start a combo. It’s pretty straightforward. There are really fun power-ups like slowing time, speeding it up, and magnetism. I really love the magnetism power-up. It makes it super easy to get large combos.
I will warn you though, the game has a steep learning curve. Each plane/level has a random funny pun or alliteration to get you started and then the people come. They carry ridiculous things in ridiculous places, like shoes in afros and spiders in handbags, and then you get started. The first two levels are at a decent pace and they’re not particularly difficult, but that third level feels like you skipped some planes somewhere. The passengers start carrying speakers and huge briefcases and it gets really easy to grab green objects by accident. I’ve only made it past the third plane once and I failed right afterwards. The trick, it looks like, is to use two fingers to play and not just one. I originally used a stylus to play because it usually makes games easier for me to play, but in this case I would not recommend it.
It really says how strong the game is though that I don’t mind not getting past the third plane. I can still fulfill missions and get achievements and with those two I get coins to buy coin multipliers and other things. There’s so much to do despite being a relatively simple game and it’s a ton of fun.
One problem with the game isn’t really a problem to me, but is more of a misleading label? The website states that Funky Smugglers has awesome online multiplayer events. I can’t really agree with that statement. There is a somewhat multiplayer option where you can join a team and then play as you usually do in an attempt to help your team win. That’s great and all, but in terms of a gaming experience, playing single player is identical to playing multiplayer. You can unlock the same achievements, there are the same challenges, etc. The only difference is that you get extra coins. That’s nice and I definitely think that everyone should join a team when they’re on wifi for the coin bonus, but I would not call it a multiplayer option.
In summation, Funky Smugglers is fun with catchy music, straightforward gameplay, and cool bonuses. It’s also really difficult and lacks a real multiplayer. I don’t mind that. It’s great to play before you go to bed or when you’re waiting while someone’s on the phone. It’s well worth the $0.99 price tag. If nothing else, seeing the different objects and the over-exaggerated proportions of the passengers is worth a few hours of gameplay.