Funk of Titans is A Crowd of Monsters’ first console release; the title has been exclusively launched on Xbox One under Microsoft’s ID@Xbox initiative. You step into the funky shoes of Perseus, the son of Zeus who is less than amused by the musical styling of three Titans – Pop, Rap and Metal. It’s your task to traverse each of the three worlds and face off against each one in a dance battle to bring back the funk – this is a musically inspired take on Greek mythology and a weird one at that.
The art style is charming; the worlds are well laid out and the amusing mix of funk and Greek mythology make this auto-running title something that I kept coming back to over my seven hour playthrough. The pace and length of each level is spot on; perfect if you want to nab each of the three gold medals – one for finishing a level without taking any damage, one for collecting 100 gold vinyls and one for finding the hidden Pegasus Idol – collecting all three is easier said than done, particularly on the rather devious third world where you will need to be spot on with timing your jumps and weapon swings!
There are numerous obstacles to traverse and enemies to avoid if you are to make it to the end of each level, which is marked by a jukebox pumping out funky rhythms. Perseus can take two hits before it’s funk over, the first hit will strip him of his armour leaving him in little more than his underwear to run the rest of the level in.
Gold vinyls lead you through each level like breadcrumbs and help to indicate the length of each level. Some vinyls are hidden in vases that must be broken by swinging your sword – you must also break down doors and defeat numerous enemies by hitting or jumping on their heads, which can boost you up to an otherwise unreachable area that is often home to the Pegasus Idol. The vinyls you collect can be spent on new helmets or weapons and while these are mainly aesthetic, some weapons must be used to access locked areas or to complete one of Zeus’ heroic challenges – there’s three to complete per Hero level and by finishing each one you will unlock more items in the shop my favourite being the Funkymus helmet, an Optimus Prime mask.
A Pegasus Idol is hidden in each level – this is your trusty rocket Hobby Horse. Keeping with the music theme, this area is styled to mimic the music TV show Pop Idol and by collecting the idol you will get a shot at a mini-game that is playable at the end of the level – think Flappy Bird but less irritating. The environments of the levels would fit right into a Zool game – a mash-up of music and sweet objects. As you fly through the sky on your trusty stead you must press and hold the A button in order to avoid obstacles and collect vinyls – I only made it to 525m before crashing but it would have been nice to see where I might have placed on a global leaderboard or against my friends.
Located mid-way through each level is a Grunt that you must fight and at the end of each level there is a Titan waiting to beat the funk out of you. The battles are a series of three QTE events, to win you must outscore your opponent. While the Grunt fight sequence can be excused for a somewhat lacklustre set of QTE sequences, it’s a shame that the Titan battle didn’t have more rhythm to it, particularly as it is meant to be a dance off! Button prompts flash at the top, bottom, left or right of the screen, which map directly to the positioning of the Y, A, X or B button, you needn’t press them in time as long as they are in the right order – it makes for a clumsy experience especially when contrasted against the smooth flow of the auto-running level design.
I really enjoyed Funk of Titans, sure the character’s one-liner can be irritating and the game itself might have felt more at home being played on my iPhone, but it’s a fun, simple game – perfect if you need something to relax with or that the little ones can play. It’s a shame that there wasn’t more effort put into the boss battles, particularly as they cry out for a rhythm based mini game. I also think Funk of Titans would have benefited from a map editor so that you can create levels to share with the community – this aside, the charming art style and addictive gameplay kept me coming back for more and I’m looking forward to seeing what A Crowd of Monsters do next, which could be as early as May – an episodic Noir adventure called Blues & Bullets.
Thanks to A Crowd of Monsters for supplying TiX with a download code
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