Whilst #Funtime wins absolutely no awards for its cringeworthy name, it absolutely wins awards for being a fast paced twin stick shooter that gives Geometry Wars a good run for its money. With its colour based shooting system and plentiful modes, there is a fun time to be had! Thankfully, we don’t have a trading standards cases on our hands…
#Funtime is all about clocking up a high score in the quickest time possible. You’ll be placed into arenas of different shapes and sizes to shoot down various enemies that spawn in waves. Initially your ship will just be able to shoot and maybe dash but quickly the colour based shooting system comes into play. You can change the colour of your laser shots with the face buttons on your controller and this becomes crucial for getting maximum damage with your shots or passing through colour barriers. When facing off against enemies, you can largely still shoot with whatever colour you want but you’ll be making life very hard for yourself. It is all about the bait and switch – corner your enemies that have colour resistance and pick them off.
The main arcade mode has about 60 levels that have very different modes contained within. Aside from the arena shooting for high scores, survival modes and the like there are also obstacle course races. These task you with shooting buttons and moving barriers around to get to the finish line quickly to collect your rewards. You’ll also be introduced to bombs and shields here that can help your survival and a curious floor colouring mechanic. As you shift colour, some enemies cannot be hurt with just fire – they need to be frazzled on the electrified floor of their colour. You do this by moving around whilst in a certain colours mode. It is a nifty tactic to use this to boost your firepower but can often be forgotten in the heat of battle until you face off enemies that require this mechanic to be killed. Bosses are also included here.
Outside of the arcade mode there is also a selection of other modes that require you to level up your ship over time to then chase the leaderboard scores. It is here where you’ll get plain time trial, survival, wave mode and the titular funtime mode. Here, attached to your ship, is a giant wrecking ball. You have to swing the ball around to cause all of your damage and take out swathes of enemies in one well timed swoosh. The trick? It has friendly fire and so if you get carried away you’ll swipe yourself as well. It is a genuinely fun addition and completely changes how you play the game. You can still shoot as well, but you’ll be busy trying to avoid the ball of carnage in the meantime!
Nailing the arcade feel requires you to feel speedy and responsive and that is exactly what #Funtime conveys. Whilst all bar two arenas are just the size of your screen or a smidge more, you’ll be zipping around corners, blocking enemy fire down corridors and spinning around to retort fluidly. It makes #Funtime immediate to play and engaging from the offset. When a game controls so well and lights up the screen with colour and style like it does, it doesn’t take long to draw you in to the leaderboard chasing. Every level and battle mode has leaderboards so if that is your thing, you’ll be shooting away for hours to unlock the health and power up upgrades to then tackle the ultimate score challenges with a fully equipped ship.
What #Funtime does lack is a multiplayer option. It feels perfect for a co-op or battle mode for high scores – especially on some of the longer battle modes available. The game also says it synchronises enemies to the beat of the music but I must admit that I didn’t notice this much if at all. It must be very loosely based of the feel of the music rather than the beat because when a track gets louder and bigger – the more enemies arrive.
That slight quirk aside, #Funtime is a joy to play. Bright, beautiful, fluid, responsive and with a few unique twists in its armoury too. Whilst it may not quite knock Geometry Wars 3 off the very top spot in the sub genre of Neon Tron Twin Stick Shooter – this is the closest any game I’ve played has got to it in years. That is very high praise indeed.
Fast, fun, fluid and responsive - a twin stick shooter that begs for just one more attempt at taking the high score.
Plenty of unique modes to try out that change the way the game plays.
Progressive difficulty ramps up slowly but does test your skill fully.
Looks and feels great.
No multiplayer modes.
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