Funky Smugglers, a stylish avoidance game from 11 Bit Studios, is now available from the app store. Featuring a colorfully appealing aesthetic, a killer ‘70s-inspired soundtrack, and often frantic gameplay, Funky Smugglers has proved extremely difficult to put down.
Funky Smugglers Pros:
- Colorful cartoon presentation with a hip aesthetic; rhythmic animations
- Soundtrack is outstanding, keeping your head bobbin’ with funky ’70s beats
- Touch controls are responsive and collision detection is good
- GameCenter integration for leaderboards and achievements to earn
Funky Smugglers Cons:
- Coins are earned at a horribly slow pace, pushing gamers toward IAP
- Team Battles feel too passive; no true sense of camaraderie with group
You take on the role of a TSA agent, tasked with preventing dangerous objects from being smuggled aboard an airplane. Using a full body scanner, you are able to screen potential passengers for hidden objects, which appear as red or green. You use your finger to swipe red items away while avoiding contact with the safe and approved green items. You can drag your finger around the screen to collect multiple red items at once, creating combos to drive up your score. While you hold the banned items, a timer counts down. You have to flick the stash away before the time expires or risk losing the points you’ve accumulated from the group. Tossing the items and catching them again will reset your timer, allowing you to continue to collect more items and build upon your combo. Each red item allowed through, or green item accidentally touched, will cost you one of your three lives. Gameplay is wave-based, with a set number of passengers attempting to board each plane. Subsequent flights will apply an increasing point multiplier, creating the opportunity for better scores the longer you survive.
Your run ends once the third life is lost, and coins will be awarded to you based on your performance. These coins can be used to purchase one-time or persistent power-ups, giving you the ability to start at a more advanced plane on the next attempt, increase the length of the countdown timer, and much more. During the course of play, you’ll also encounter some bonuses within the scanner, such as magnets that attract red items and suitcases that speed up or slow down the passengers moving through the machine. You can even pick up an extra life to cancel out a previous mistake. A series of challenging missions are also always available, asking you to complete tasks like tossing 20 items, surviving for 120 seconds, reaching the fourth plane, and more. Completion of these missions will also increase your coin total and provide you with fun tasks to keep gameplay from getting stale. Joining a Team Battle will also add the benefit of bonus coins and give you a community-based experience while you play.
Graphically, Funky Smugglers has a fun and stylish look, infused with a good dose of humor. The character types of the passengers are varied, and the objects that they try to smuggle in can be a bit off-beat (spiders, chainsaws, pliers, etc.). Animations are smooth and predictable, though avoiding green items held in swinging arms can prove to be quite challenging as you progress. The soundtrack is worth the price of admission alone, dropping some funky beats to keep your head bobbin’ while you play. Controls are dead simple to use, requiring you to drag over items to collect them and give a hearty flick to throw them away. We found them to be adequately responsive, with good collision detection.
Replay value is very good, as the opportunity to set new high scores is ever-present. Completing missions and helping out in the Team Battles can also provide incentive to keep playing. GameCenter integration provides leaderboards and an achievement system, too. A universal app for a mere $0.99, Funky Smugglers earns a 4.5-Dimple seal of approval.
Funky Smugglers Review,