The Newgrounds sensation Friday Night Funkin’ is getting a “full version,” complete with 60 new songs, two-player mode, and an online leaderboard, thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign.
If you haven’t heard of it, Friday Night Funkin’ is a rhythm game inspired by Dance Dance Revolution where you play as a boyfriend (aptly named Boyfriend) trying to smooch his girlfriend. The game is known for its unique, cartoony 2D art style and boppin’ tracks. Currently, it’s available to download for free on Linux, Mac, and Windows PC, and playable in a browser via Newgrounds.
Friday Night Funkin’ has become a runaway success, with 15 million plays on Newgrounds alone. Since its release, it has gone on to inspire dozens of modders and animators to make content with the game, with the videos of modded games garnering as many as 20 million views on YouTube. It’s popular on TikTok as well, where one of its songs has currently over 48,000 videos using the sound.
While the current version of the game has a lot of heart and is accessible for anyone to play, it is also pretty barebones. The Newgrounds version has 21 playable tracks, and rougher art style and animations. It’s great, but it looks like a passion project rather than a fully polished game. The Newgrounds version still lacks some basic features, like a results screen after completing a song.
The full game (aka Friday Night Funkin’: The Full-Ass Game) will build on all the previous work to make something more polished and much larger in scope. The developers are promising 60 new songs, new gameplay mechanics, cutscenes, local two-player, new playable characters, and online leaderboards. The creators also shared that the fuller version will add support for their modding community and a custom charting interface to allow people to put their own audio files into the game.
At the time of press, the those running the crowdfunding campaign have raised roughly over $580,000 with 29 days to go still. With this, backers have unlocked a few stretch goals like a mobile build, a custom character creator, and fully animated cutscenes.
But with anything gained, there is a little something lost. In this case, the new full game will no longer live on browsers.
“The web version will receive some of the levels we make in full-development as time rolls by. Only the full release will contain all the content, but we still want to give fans a taste of what we’re cookin from time to time,” the developers shared.
Popular content-sharing website Newgrounds has crashed as a result of being overwhelmed by demand for the latest update to Friday Night Funkin’, the wildly popular rhythm game. The crash is a testament to the game’s staying power, as its popularity has only grown over the last few months despite being incomplete.
Friday Night Funkin’ tells the story of The Boyfriend, who is ecstatic to be in a relationship with The Girlfriend. Unfortunately for The Boyfriend, The Girlfriend’s parents are demons, and over the course of many weeks, The Boyfriend has to survive many rap battles to sustain his relationship. While the gameplay draws very heavily from Dance Dance Revolution, its charming character designs, catchy music, and clever references have quickly endeared the game to many Internet users, who eagerly look forward to each content update.
While fans knew the game’s Week 7 update would go live sometime in the near future, it was unexpectedly dropped on the Newgrounds site midway through Sunday. While the game normally has a dedicated web version, the update first went live on Newgrounds, promptly causing the site to crash. The game disappeared from the site soon after, with Newgrounds promising to improve infrastructure and get the game back online quickly.
Newsgrounds’ tweet includes a segment of the TANKMEN animated series, which is appropriate, since Friday Night Funkin’s Week 7 update is themed around it. The TANKMEN series depicts a grim and crudely humorous post-apocalyptic world, and many may recognize it from the Newgrounds logo. Given the range of references included in Friday Night Funkin‘, it’s not surprising to see the game add another one. That said, it is quite a jump from Week 6, in which The Boyfriend appeared to enter a cursed dating simulator game.
While Friday Night Funkin’ is a fun game, its longevity may just stem from the creativity of its fan base. Fans have written clever lyrics for each week’s songs, created a number of well-regarded mods, posted great remixes of the game’s songs, and much more. Most impressively, fans have been able to make exciting crossover mods with PaRappa the Rapper and other characters that could likely not be done in the official game for legal reasons.
It’s an exciting time for rhythm games beyond the success of Friday Night Funkin’. In addition to the release of high-profile rhythm games like Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory, upcoming indie titles like Unbeatable have sold gamers on the promise of simple and addicting rhythm gameplay. Plus, with the newly-launched Kickstarter for Friday Night Funkin’, fans will be seeing much more of The Boyfriend in the future.