Way back in 2015, I was looking around for something different to play, and boy did I find it. With the release of Funk of Titans, developers A Crowd of Monsters, came up with an interesting take on classical Greek mythology. In this universe, Funk is the music of the Gods, and Zeus, the father of all the gods, created it, sharing things with Humanity and the rest of the universe. However, he was opposed by Pagan Titans who were able to resist the power of Funk, and they have made their own styles of music. Pop, Rock and Rap are challenging Funk for power in the universe, so what is a god to do?
Luckily, Zeus’s son Perseus is willing and able to take on these Pagan Titans, being Zeus’s Funky Champion. Being the Funky Champion, Perseus is of course fully trained in the art of Funk Fu, and armed with a variety of weapons to buy and Helmets to equip, along with a truly impressive Afro hairstyle; the scene is set for an epic confrontation. With over 40 levels to defeat, including bonus stages, and a fully pimped out Pegasus to ride, I dived straight in to see what Perseus could bring to my jaded gaming palette.
The gameplay on offer is fairly simple, to be kind. Perseus drops into the start of the level, and sets off running from left to right. And he keeps running, as Funk of Titan works as an auto-runner, where the rate of progress through a level is controlled by the game, not by the player. What we have to do is make sure that Perseus doesn’t run into a wall or an enemy, either by jumping or attacking respectively. And that’s pretty much it with Funk of Titans really.
So, what was the hook that made me keep playing, not just until I had completed the game, but until I had mopped up all the achievements? Well, in a word, it was the atmosphere of the game. The ambience, if I’m permitted more than one word.
The cartoony style of the world, the animation on Perseus as he leapt and swished his way through a level, the music: all these components came together to make a game that was more enjoyable to play than I’m making it sound on this page. Learning the levels, knowing when an enemy was about to appear, knowing when a jump was needed, and then pulling it off on a perfect run through a level was a great feeling. Each level had a maximum of three gold medals that could be unlocked too, depending on your performance. The achievement to nail all levels with three gold stars requires some serious backtracking. But luckily, with a level select Funk of Titans does make it easy to see which levels haven’t been complete to the required standard, allowing us to correct any sub-par performances.
With bonus levels involving riding Pegasus through the skies things get better still. Of course, with this new take on Greek mythology, Pegasus is no longer a snowy white horse with wings. Oh no, and this time round is a rocket powered hobby horse, which you have to ride through some surreal levels, collecting records. The levels are truly strange as well; there’s one based on food, where you have to fly through a backdrop of cutlery, then food; crashing into a burger when you misjudge a button press is very peculiar. The gameplay in these sections is reminiscent of the infamous Flappy Bird, where Pegasus is encouraged to fly and glide, depending on when you press the button to fire his rocket boosters.
The plan is to defeat the various worlds that have been created by Pop, Rock and Rap, and then – obviously once the levels have been beaten – the fight is then taken to the Rogue Pagan Titan. Of course, the only way to defeat Pop, Rock or Rap is a good old fashioned dance off. These boss fights take on the form of Quick Time Events and require Perseus to match the button presses that flash up on the screen. Outscore the Pagan Titan over three rounds and they will be defeated, finally allowing the chance to see the Funky light. Honestly, the dancing animation is pretty poor in these levels, and with the need to concentrate on hitting the buttons, they go by in a bit of a blur.
So these are my memories of Funk of Titans from way back in 2015. I hadn’t played an auto runner game before it, so it scratched the itch for a new experience and was decent fun to play. That said, I’m not sure it still stands up today, given the advances that have been made across the gaming landscapes, but I still have my fond memories.
But how about you guys? Did you play this game when it was new? Do you fancy giving it a go after peeping through my rose tinted spectacles? Let me know in the comments. If you need to pick it up, then the Xbox Store is providing access for just £5.59. And if you wish to know even more about the game, we sat down with the lead producer of Funk of Titans when the game was first released – check out our interview here.