Need a break from busting real smugglers? Groove with the Funky Smugglers.
Have you had to engage in air travel at any point in the last few years? If so, chances are you found the experience less than funky, with the possible exception of the dude who wound up sitting beside you (and bogarted the arm rest for the entire five-hour flight). Funky Smugglers is a reflex game by 11 Bit Studios that puts the fun back into airport security—not that airport security had much fun to spare in the first place.
Running airport security in Funky Smugglers is so easy, even a monkey can do it (make up your own TSA joke, wakka wakka). Several passengers proceed through a full-body scanner before boarding their flights, and it’s up to you to scoop off what doesn’t belong. Nobody likes a spider-smuggler, for instance, so spiders need to go. So do bombs, grenades, scissors, guns, or any object marked red. And while passengers are allowed to take benign green objects aboard with them, it’s anyone’s guess why an old lady would want to fly with a rubber ducky.
If you let a passenger go through the scanner without removing all the red objects on his or her person, you lose a life. If you try and take a green object from a passenger, you lose a life as well. If you lose all your lives, the game’s over.
You can remove verboten objects by simply tapping them, but you get point multipliers if you “scoop” an armful of objects and fling them away all at once. It’s also far more satisfying than just pecking at your iOS screen. Every so often you’re granted power-ups that magnetize bad items, slow down time, or speed up the line. Hustle your bustle, granny! None of us are getting any younger, here!
Funky Smuggler has a funky-fresh soundtrack and an appropriately ’70s color palette, though there’s not a lot of variety in the character models that you frisk. You can earn coins and achievements and shoot for goals that add some depth to what’s otherwise pretty basic reflex game. Coins can be used to purchase power-ups and upgrades that make your job easier. You can also purchase “VIP Passes” that let you start boarding from the third plane, or the fifth, or the tenth, etc, whenever you lose all your lives. Good stuff to be sure, but tremendously expensive. Unsurprisingly, you can buy more coins with real-world money.
Luckily, you don’t need power-ups to appreciate Funky Smugglers. On its own, the game is fun, silly, and addictive. But it is unsettling that the game’s planes always take off regardless of how shoddily you perform behind the scanner.