A lot. I do a lot, and I don’t really have time for things I enjoy. From sunrise to sunset, I’m working on one thing or another. I agree that hard work can be its own reward, but it’s nice to be able to “switch off” every once in awhile.
When I got my hands on Funklift, I originally thought I’d treat it as another “day on the job.” Another game I have to review, more work for me to do. Imagine my surprise when I actually enjoyed the game and felt relaxed while playing!
Funklift has a very simple premise - taking control of a forklift, the object of the game is to pick up as many items as possible and drop them onto some trap doors. The trap doors periodically release, and with it go the items. Once they fall into oblivion, points are added. The more items that fall through the trap doors, the higher the score. Try to get the highest score possible within the time limit!
The mechanics are fairly simple, although there’s no real explanation for them if you’re playing on a keyboard. WASD keys move the forklift, up arrow moves the mechanism up and down arrow moves it down, and space bar jumps.
Yes. A jumping forklift.
There isn’t a lot of diversity between the items, and I can kind of see what they are? One appears to be a matryoshka, or nesting doll, one looks like a gramophone, and another is...something? Maybe my eyes aren’t what they used to be. When you pick up an item, the item changes to the color of your forklift - mine happened to be pink, so all the items would change to pink. For multiplayer, I assume this means something, but for single-player it just indicated to me that I successfully picked something up.
The gameplay is a bit repetitive in this regard: pick something up, place it on the trap doors, the items fall down. Lather, rinse, repeat. But something about it was very soothing. There was a goal - a simple goal - and I could totally accomplish this goal. Each time my timer ran out and my points were tabulated, I had a new marker that I had to beat. I had to do better than the last round. It became challenging in a very relaxing way.
The graphics are well-done and add to the feel of a funky, upbeat arena. They’re not AAA quality, but the style, lighting, and feel really set the mood. The music is...well, funk. I mean, what did you expect? Not-funk? No way, not with Funklift. There were funky fresh beats throughout the game, which made it kind of fun in a quirky way (and this is coming from the girl that does not like funk).
There wasn’t a lot of newness to the point of the game, and past the “move the items to the trap door over and over again,” there wasn’t much else to it. For all its positives, it felt more like a Mario Party mini-game than a full-fledged title. Still, I wouldn’t knock Funklift for it, just don’t expect much in regards to a storyline or anything more than “beat your friends” or “beat your high score.”
This game does appear to be optimized for a controller, but I’m not sure if I would recommend one over the keyboard. It looks like it would work either way, and I didn’t have any real problems with not having a controller.
After playing Funklift for quite some time, I actually felt a little happier. My mood had definitely improved. I felt like the game had a lot to do with it - that was the only thing that had changed, so why wouldn’t that be the case? It was simple and refreshing, despite being such an easy, effortless game.
Funklift is small. It’s simple. It’s funky. It’s clean. It’s easy. It’s engaging. Most importantly - it’s fun.
I was really surprised by the simplicity of this title because I just did not think the value was there originally. But it is - in spades. I am sure this game will be more fun in multiplayer mode, but anything that lowers my heart rate and blood pressure for an afternoon is an awesome game in my book.
Not only would I highly recommend this title as a great way to waste an afternoon, but it's also exactly what I’m looking forward to doing when I have a little down time. Now if only I could get that down time…