New games show up everywhere, whether that be the hallowed halls of Steam, the ultra-cool venue of itch.io, or the seedy punk dive of Newgrounds. All of these places and many more are necessary because the more there are the easier it is to get games in front of people’s eyes. Newgrounds has always been a loud screaming mess of crazed gaming overload, which is exactly what it needs to be for its audience to learn to create just about anything they can think of. For the most part these games aren’t really designed with the idea of breakout success in mind but sometimes it happens anyway. The latest to have that happen is a music-rhythm game called Friday Night Funkin’, which has been seeing regular content drops of new music and levels and getting more popular with each one. This got so intense that last night’s Week 7 release killed Newgrounds stone-cold dead and necessitated the update being removed until the site could handle the traffic.
Friday Night Funkin’ is usually described as a bit of Dance Dance Revolution mixed with Parappa the Rapper, which is absolutely accurate. The arrows fly up from the bottom of the screen and you need to tap one of the four directions in time to the beat, and the overall setup of each level is a call-response of rhythm. The Boyfriend loves The Girlfriend but her demon parents disapprove, and this is a problem that can only be solved by rap battles. Thankfully there’s no voice, and instead the excellent soundtrack integrates perfectly with blips and boops as you hit the notes in time to the song. The challenger on the left goes first while you get a sense of the beat and note pattern and then it’s your turn, trying to match the music as each new verse gets more crowded with note cues. When the tune really takes off both challenger and Boyfriend may end up rapping together, their combined rhythms bringing the soundtrack alive in a way that electro-boops really shouldn’t be capable of. Friday Night Funkin’ is good fun to great music, and being free on Newgrounds has boosted its popularity beyond all expectations.
The next step, of course, is to turn Friday Night Funkin’ into a full game, and its Kickstarter launched with the Week 7 release to instant success. The $60,000 goal has been hit with an x11 multiplier as of this writing, earning a huge number of stretch goals including online multiplayer and an extra fifteen songs to go with the sixty that had been planned. It seems pretty likely that the stratospheric goal of the ten-week epilogue (three songs per week, so another thirty, plus two more fifteen-song stretch goals along the way) is going to be cleared without too much trouble, and maybe with a little luck and a whole lot of support the PS1 (yes, original Sony PSX) version on disc will actually happen.
Friday Night Funkin’ is live on Kickstarter now. Head on over and take a look, and maybe help it along the way to the coveted PS1 version.