Friday Night Funkin’ – surprisingly unique indie dance-off

Friday Night Funkin is a rhythm, a dance-dance-revolution-like online game developed and released by Newgrounds in 2020. The premise centers around the boyfriend and aims to impress his girlfriend’s dad by engaging in a challenging dance-off. In this indie game, the player has to win in various music battles against the ex-rockstar father of their lover.

In November 2020, four Newgrounds users (ninjamuffin99, PhantomArcade, evilsk8r, and KawaiSprite) blessed those passionate about music and dancing with an addictive game dedicated to killer moves. Friday Night Funkin (FNF) was a Ludum Dare game jam project, an online event where gamers make games from scratch in three days.

However, it surpassed initial expectations, resulting in Newgrounds animations and sound. After that, they released it for the PC, and you can download it or play it in your browser tab. The game is simple to understand and play, being a single-player release that requires quick coordination between your eyes and hands.

The interface is straightforward as it utilizes keyboard arrows to create sounds. Because of that, the rules include hitting the corresponding arrow in a particular moment, allowing you to increase your score. However, if you miss the arrows, you will lose the rhythm, causing your rates to drop.

The game ends if you skip too many notes as you approach the last moments of a level. It is why you should be attentive and sharpen your reflexes. Otherwise, you could kill the rhythm.

As a player, you’ll step into the role of a 19-year old named Boyfriend. That is the first indicator of the simplicity you’ll encounter in FNF. Furthermore, you’ll participate in rap battles and show your best moves.

However, the game doesn’t include the actual levels. Instead, it has weeks, and every seven days, Boyfriend has to partake in three challenges. The first week introduces the father of the main character’s girlfriend.

Hence, during this challenge, you’ll compete against the dad while your girlfriend appears in the background, sitting on a stereo and waiting to see if you can win her father’s approval. In the second week, you’ll face off two kids, called Skid and Pump. These two are dressed as a pumpkin and skeleton, giving more funk to the battle.

The third week includes Pico, a ginger who invites you to a rap subway challenge. The fourth week represents an intro to the final event as you’ll have to compete against your girlfriend’s mother. However, the fifth and last week brings a face-off against both mom and dad.

Overall, the Friday Night Funking plot is not perplexing nor overly profound. Instead, it wants you to have fun and not have to overthink. But how about the graphics, soundtrack, and other significant elements that should help you decide if this game is worthy of your time?

A fun challenge that doesn’t demand commitment

If you seek a game that requires commitment, critical thinking, and strategy, FNF probably won’t do it for you. But if you want to have fun, enjoy adrenaline-rush challenges, and forget about your worries, then FNF will more than likely hold your attention.

Indeed, other similar games like Ensemble Stars! Music has a plot with more complexities. On the other side, FNF is all about beating the levels and reaching the next one. Other rhythm games have the same objective, but they usually have a storyline.

However, FNF works fine without an additional mission, higher goals, or character background stories. After all, it’s not easy at all to defeat the girlfriend’s dad and win in a dance-off. Getting his approval includes overcoming various obstacles, such as contract killers and spirits that found themselves captured in a dating simulator.

Each of these enemies offers the Boyfriend three songs that will dare him and present a challenge. It is where the game starts being addictive. The soundtrack is top-notch, and the characters are not one-dimensional.

Instead, they have their own sounds, animations, and moves. Thanks to that, each arrow key will result in a different voice, creating nuances that make each character unique. That is also an indicator of the attention to detail and effort creators invested into this game.

Moreover, you can choose how difficult you want the game to be. The harder it is, the more fun it is. But you will adjust and learn fast because FNF avoids overwhelming you with rules and requirements. Sometimes it feels too easy as the game often fails to punish you if you react to a note with a bit of delay.

FNF is highly forgiving, and it has a relaxed learning curve, allowing you to genuinely enjoy the rhythm and focus on the fun part of it. If you don’t understand or struggle with something, forget about the worries. You can turn to a tutorial for all your doubts.

But FNF is open to improvements since its development is ongoing. The creators are continuously adding features and enhancements, such as new weeks and songs. It is no surprise that the game is a work in progress as it exceeded their initial expectations of reaching 60,000 USD.

Instead of being a secret guilty pleasure, FNF became highly popular. As a result, creators plan to turn it into a more complex game, modes, and features. Whatever the scenario, if it maintains its unique flair and style, FNF could reach unexpected heights.

The love and effort each creator has put into making this game are beyond apparent, and that makes it distinctive.

An addictive rhythm game with a promising future

Friday Night Funkin’ is still young, but it already reached glory that its creators couldn’t imagine. With its astonishing rock soundtrack, animations, and artwork, FNF goes beyond being a mindless dance-off game one forgets quickly.

Despite its modest storyline, the game is challenging, and it will keep you engaged throughout different levels and obstacles. However, FNF will probably keep surprising its players and growing its fanbase as it introduces new improvements and features.

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