2D platformers have seen a revival in recent years, with the rise of downloadable games, which has brought us many fantastic titles such as Super Meat Boy and Braid. Now, imagine a mix of the time travel elements of Braid with the puzzle mechanics of Tumble and you'll have a pretty good idea of what to expect in Funky Lab Rat. Whilst it can't live up to the standards of either release it's a solid game in its own right.
The game is strictly a solo experience, with the main game being the only mode you'll find. Not much is given to us in terms of story, with all that's revealed being that our rodent hero Diego accidentally ate a special pill that gave him his powers. With 10 different worlds, each split between 8 different levels each this single mode will last you for hours, with each level's objective being easy: you simply have to reach the golden doorway at the end, which won't be too easy as many levels contain dangers. Diego's progress will be hindered by bottomless pits, glowing red objects that cause instant death with a single touch, but there are movable blocks to help you overcome these obstacles.
There are also pills to collect as you travel through the worlds, and although you don't necessarily need to collect all of them to complete a level, worlds are unlocked based on the number of pills you have, so it's wise to grab them when you see them. There are also medals to be earned for nabbing the pills, also adding some replay value to the game in the process.
Levels are generally quite nicely designed and are fun to play through, with the game's puzzle nature meaning they offer a strong challenge at times. However, the biggest problem with the game is that, while the levels are rather fun, it's just not very interesting and can have trouble holding your attention for long periods at a time.
The gameplay mechanics are rather easy to get the hang of. You have the choice between using the Navigation controller or the DualShock 3 controller alongside the Move, using the left analogue stick to move across the level. You start off going through “World 0”, in which you will begin to acquire most of your time control powers, such as being able to pause time, rewind it, completely rewind to the beginning or even being able to skip some levels. While time is frozen, you are able to move objects such as blocks or springs with the Move's cursor, although there is a limit to how many times you can freeze time in a level so you can't use this too casually. The controls work very well here, with the Navigation Controller being the recommended choice as it just feels more comfortable to hold while playing due to its slim design.
The game boasts a rather colourful graphical style that helps bring life to it as well as a laboratory theme, with a set of lab equipment hanging in the background of each level that helps to add style. The soundtrack complements the game fairly well but it does get repetitive after awhile and will often loop the same, short piece of background music rather irritatingly, like for example when you freeze time.
Overall, Funky Lab Rat is a good game with a colourful style and interesting level design. However, its biggest problem is that despite the fact that it's rather fun, it just doesn't stand out on its own enough or motivate you enough to keep playing for long periods of time. For those of you who are fans of puzzle platformers however, you could do worse than Funky Lab Rat and for £5.49, it comes recommended.