Funky Barn Reeks Of Simplicity Over On The Wii U

When Funky Barn was announced for the Wii U launch line-up, a few staffers couldn't help but laugh.  After all, the title can be miscomprehended in a number of ways – do the animals know disco, do they smell rotten, what's so funky about farming – though I knew what it was all about.  The original Funky Barn had come out for the 3DS months before, and 505 Games was merely jumping on the opportunity to make it a Wii U experience.  That said, I expected something with a bit more longevity than the original game, as I blew through it in a matter of hours, becoming a master of, ahem, the Funk.

Unfortunately, I didn't get it.  Most of the basic elements of Funky Barn, which made it work so well back on the 3DS, are included here, but that's really about it.  There are no fundamental extras that take advantage of the hardware; no online features to help you get Funky with your friends (I couldn't help but snicker at that one); and nothing outside of a handful of additional challenge barns (yes, I just said challenge barns) to come back to.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.  Funky Barn does offer a decent twist on the whole farming thing, playing out like a mixture between Harvest Moon and FarmVille.  You're tasked with bringing a worn-down farm up to speed, with the help of various animals and tools that can bring it back.  You've given the animals in timed intervals, and then have to keep checking on them and literally stroking them with the stylus in order to avoid them falling into, ahem, a Funk.  It makes sense, and some kids will actually be delighted with the sense of whimsy these animals bring.  They're quite bug-eyed, like a Wallace and Gromit cartoon gone out of control, but still animate so simply that they never get out of control.

There is a decent balance to be learned in Funky Barn, and, I admit, there are times it can be moderately fun trying to make sure everything is up to speed across your farm, so that there isn't some sort of revolting development or anything like that.  But then the game comes to a close too soon, as you're able to meet all your tasks within a matter of hours, if that.

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