Take to outer space as #Funtime has you blasting enemy hazards with a unique colour coding mechanic. Enjoy its bright neon aesthetic and pumping techno soundtrack whilst you rack up those multipliers for high score bragging rights.
#Funtime has wonderfully smooth controls which is an aspect that can easily make or break any arcade-style shooter. I never experienced a single frame rate dip, nor did I feel that any death wasn’t mechanically justified.
As is the case with a lot of arcade-style shooters, the game contains a Challenge Mode with 50 levels, each with their own uniquely crafted arenas. You can also play these modes individually in Arcade Mode, featuring:
- Survival which places you in a small arena in a challenge to survive as long as possible,
- Large Survival which follows the same rules but in a larger arena,
- Open Survival which again follows the same rules but you’re not limited to an arena, rather you can freely fly through space (but watch out for the asteroid fields),
- Waves which pits you in the small arena similar to Survival mode, but has set waves of enemies becoming increasingly difficult,
- Zones which have you switching colours in order to enter zones that provide temporary shields,
- Funtime which has you coming in like a wrecking ball… literally.
Strangely enough, the Zones and Funtime modes are initially locked, forcing the player to accrue in-game currency based off of your points obtained in the other four modes. Only when the Color Swap Upgrade is unlocked will these two modes be made available. What is also strange about this decision is that colour-based gameplay modes are immediately available to you in Challenge Mode, so it felt like backtracking when they were suddenly locked behind an arbitrary economic system.
You can purchase many upgrades in Arcade Mode with this system, such as more health, bullets, bombs, boost, more frequent health pickups and an AI fighter buddy to help you in battle. #Funtime could have benefited from the ability to play co-op but unfortunately, the game skips over this feature.
#Funtime is the definition of hectic, like most arcade SHMUPs tend to be. What adds to the frantic action is the colour-shifting mechanic, requiring you to use the ABXY buttons in order change the colour of your ship so that you can fly through lasers and defeat certain enemies. This, when in the thick of it, can be a very cumbersome control scheme. I found myself wanting to use the bumpers to switch between colours as in order to use the ABXY buttons, you are forced to release the right analogue stick, ceasing fire.
Even with swapping between colours being cumbersome, my biggest gripe with the colour system is the fact that there is no colourblind mode. I am red-green colourblind and as a result, this had me dying a lot, which you may have noticed in the opening gameplay footage. The first Challenge level actually displayed which button corresponded to each colour and it is puzzling why this isn’t an option to toggle on and off in the settings for future challenges.
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#Funtime is also remiss of any rumble which is a crying shame with all of its frantic shooting action. The game would have greatly benefited from some tactile feedback as playing without it simply feels hollow and lacklustre.
#Funtime is fun and upbeat but aside from that, it is completely void of personality and originality. The game isn’t made to tell a story but even so, its lack of characters, plot development or anything to look forward to left me with a feeling of emptiness towards it. Its neo-space techno themes provides the minimum groundwork but aside from that, #Funtime simply feels lifeless.
Graphics / Art Direction
There is a heavy emphasis on the neon light aesthetic set atop an outer space backdrop. A common pitfall of neon lights in video games is that they can hurt the eyes if implemented with too much intensity, but #Funtime avoids this well. The baron space backdrop also helps to accentuate the foreground effects, making an impressive combination.
Music / Sound Design
Despite the soundtrack coming across as generic, its fast-paced, adrenaline-pumping tempo wonderfully accompanies the hectic gameplay. Thanks to this, #Funtime is best played at night with the lights turned off, the speakers turned up all the way and striped retro glasses fitted across your eyes.
Final Score: 56%
Aside from the lack of colourblind mode and the awkwardness of switching between colours, #Funtime is a fun and intuitive arcade shooter with a lot to write home about; however, it’s the decisions that were made around these mechanics that makes it a overall lacklustre time. The complete omission of its own personality, coupled with repetitive gameplay loops, puts an unfortunate dampener on a solid arcade shooter built around fluent gameplay mechanics.
Thank you for checking out our #Funtime switch review, thank you to The Quantum Astrophysicists Guild for providing the review code and thank you to our $5 and up Patreon Backers for their ongoing support:
- Andrew Caluzzi (Inca Studios / Camped Out!)
- Belinda Cubitt
- Jon Crispe