Game Reviews

Funky Smugglers

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| Funky Smugglers
Funky Smugglers
| Funky Smugglers

Few things in life match the tedium and indignity of passing through airport security. No matter what country you're flying from or to, the invasive, unwelcome screening process is one that all modern day air travelers must endure.

11 bit studios - the company behind Anomaly Warzone Earth - has tried its best to make the process of going through airport security fun with Funky Smugglers, which places you in the role of a '70s airport security screener.

Thankfully, Funky Smugglers is anything but tedious, and while it rarely deviates from its arcade-style gameplay it delivers a fun, casual diversion along with some catchy funk music.

Is that a plunger in your pocket?

From the outset, Funky Smugglers never takes itself seriously.

Each passenger in the queue boasts an improbable anatomical structure and a bizarre willingness to smuggle everything from coffee cups to chainsaws cleverly concealed in their legs, afros, and boomboxes.

Once behind the x-ray scanner, safe objects like coffee mugs, rubber ducks, apples, and teddy bears appear as green, while dangerous objects such as chainsaws, guns, grenades, and - for some odd reason - plungers show up as red. Your goal is to tap and drag the red objects while avoiding the green ones.

Tap on a green object by mistake or let a red object pass through the right side of the scanner and you lose a health case. Lose all three and it's Game Over.

This gameplay mechanic is very simple to understand and master, and within a few levels you'll have a solid grasp of how to make combos with red objects while avoiding the green ones.

In even less time you'll be smiling as you snatch a pair of pliers from the afro of a funky smuggler as he brazenly struts through your security checkpoint.

Funk soul bother

But once you've mastered the basics you've mastered all that the game has to offer. It's all basics.

There are distinct 'levels' in Funky Smugglers, but they're all largely identical, differing only in degrees of speed and length.

Boosts (power-ups) like Rush and Slow Motion adjust the tempo of the game - and music - accordingly, and these can be godsends in later levels where the passengers blaze through the security checkpoint.

But even these boosts don't keep Funky Smugglers from being repetitive. To counteract this, 11 bit studios includes plenty of purchasable extras to add a bit of variety to the game.

New passenger types add fun new challenges, as their body types allow for different configurations of smuggled objects, while optional object themes change the nature of items being smuggled by passengers to Halloween, Fantasy Medieval, or Edo Japanese.

All of these optional purchases are available to buy with coins earned in-game. The impatient among us can purchase stacks of coins through in-app purchases, but these are far from necessary.

X-ray specs

Funky Smugglers is a simple but extremely well-executed casual arcade game that aims to impress and entertain with its lighthearted presentation.

It may not offer the depth or breadth of other games in the App Store, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a more polished casual game to help pass the time in line at the doctor's office, coffee shop, or airport security checkpoint.

Funky Smugglers

A cute, casual time waster of a game that delivers fun, funk, and pocket-sized distraction on demand
Matthew Diener
Matthew Diener
Representing the former colonies, Matt keeps the Pocket Gamer news feed updated when sleepy Europeans are sleeping. As a frustrated journalist, diehard gamer and recovering MMO addict, this is pretty much his dream job.