Be Funny Now!
Developer: Galvanic Games, New Beings
Publisher: Jack Douglass
Genre(s): Party Game
Platform: PC (Also available on Mobile)
Age Rating: N/A
Release Date: 17/05/2022
Price: Free to Play
A code was provided for review purposes
Be Funny Now! was created by Jack Douglass, or as many of you may know him better by his YouTube name, jacksfilms. I think there’s always a bit of hesitation around YouTubers releasing their own video games or card/board games. Is it just another way of making money? Well, I did some research and it seems Be Funny Now! is a passion project for Jack, who is it not actually someone I’ve watched before.
Four years ago in August 2018, Jack was hosting a game called YIAY Live on his Twitch, based on a YouTube series called Yesterday I Asked You. This was an interactive, competitive party game streamed live where followers could play in chat. However, it wasn’t without its issues, causing much stress when things went wrong, as so often happens with live broadcasts. Jack saw that people were continuing to play themselves in chat when he was offline, which sparked the idea of creating it as a video game people could play whenever and with whoever they want. Thus, Be Funny Now! was born.
However, did this translate well into a game that people would be keen to play, or is it just another Jackbox copy? Keep reading this Rapid Review to find out.
Get Off the Stage!
It is hard not to compare Be Funny Now! to Jackbox as the overall concept is quite similar. Each game consists of three rounds, and in each round you will be presented with three prompts. The one with the most votes is the one that you will have to play. These have different themes, for example, there is ‘Draw It!’, ‘Turn This Boring Sentence Into YouTube Clickbait’ and ‘In Just 4 Words…’. Each player will come up with their answer under a time limit, then everyone will react to an answer at a time.
You can react with a laughing face, a smiling face, a groaning face or an angry face. These determine the amount of points the player gets, which can go into the minus numbers if they get too many negative reactions. But, this is where my issues with the game begin. There is no cap on the number of angry faces/booing a player can react with. This results in people spamming the booing button and plunging a player’s points lower. It could be that a group of people playing together can work co-operatively to do this too, ensuing a troll fest. Not having a cap on this greatly affects a player’s experience.
The points also don’t seem to be very consistent or make much sense. Sometimes mainly positive and one negative will mean you get hardly any points, then the next moment the same reactions will result in points in the hundreds. It seemed unfair and you never really knew where anyone would end up on the scoreboard.
The gameplay in Be Funny Now! itself could be hit and miss. It felt like Jackbox’s Quiplash game mode but with less variation. Quite often the same prompts would come up across matches, so I’d like to see more added into the game or something done to prevent the same ones cropping up. Though not a fault of the game itself, players also seemed to gravitate to the same prompts, such as the gaming or clickbait ones. In some sessions, no one would vote for the drawing ones at all, again leading to a lack of variety.
Some players admittedly were very creative and funny; I did find myself laughing out loud sometimes! Other times, I just did not find anyone particularly funny and sat there straight-faced. It frustrated me too when people wouldn’t adhere to the actual prompts, such as going over four words for the four words prompt… Again though, this is an issue with the player base rather than Be Funny Now!
I played with random players online, so I imagine it can be more enjoyable in a private game with friends. The public lobbies have no form of chat, so there’s no interaction between the players. I imagine there would be complications with a chat, but it would be nice to see people’s opinions further than reactions and feel part of a group. However, the samey prompts mean that it could get stale very quickly even with friends. I found myself getting bored only after a few games, so could only play it in short bursts.
Smell the Roses
Besides the main gameplay, there are other incentives to try and keep you playing Be Funny Now!. There’s a daily question to answer, and you get a few of the other players’ answers to vote on too. This can earn you in-game coins if you rank highly, being able to see the top answer the next day. The in-game currency, also earned through playing, can be used to buy clothing for your character, emotes and eye/hair colour, which change daily. The character designs fit the game well; simple, but having a humorous undertone reminding me of adult animation series.
You can also use coins to buy either tomatoes or roses to shower players with. I’m not entirely sure what this adds to the game pointwise though, as this isn’t explained. There is another currency that is only available by buying them yourself. Since it’s a free game when I saw there were microtransactions I wasn’t surprised. Most of the cosmetic items are locked behind this, but I was quite happy with the ones you could buy with coins. To be honest, I wouldn’t say any of the cosmetic items are really worth buying with real money unless you’re a big Jack fan and want to support him.
The music is fun, the upbeat instrumentals complementing the comedy club aspect of the game. The sound effects are decent, the cheering and booing adding something extra to reactions.
My Stand Up Career is Swiftly Over…
Be Funny Now! is definitely well suited as a mobile game due to the fact games are fairly short, and it’s something to pick up and play for a while. Frankly, it didn’t really hold my attention enough to play for any longer than a few games. I enjoyed the different themes in prompts as they were inventive and did lead to some brilliant answers. However, the repeat of prompts got boring quickly. The points system was also too inconsistent and the no cap on booing was a big mistake.
Unfortunately, the players taking advantage of this are detrimental to the game. Some lobbies as well were unfunny, voting for similar prompts or just using rude humour. Then the next would be super funny and creative, so it was hard to get into the game. It’s definitely better off playing with friends who you can talk with alongside playing, instead of anonymous people spamming reactions. However, this isn’t always an option for people (especially being an adult with different schedules than friends!).
I appreciate the hard work Jack has put into this game, bringing an idea of his to life. I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt since it has just been released and is free; some updates to clear up some issues could really increase its potential. Sadly, it’s tomatoes from me at this current moment in time.
Rapid Reviews Rating
2 out of 5
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.