The Best Open-Source Game I’ve Ever Played

Friday Night Funkin'

Your girlfriend’s a cutie, ain’t she? Too bad you’ll have to fight for her…in terms of rap battles. In Friday Night Funkin’, you play the role of… Boyfriend. No, literally, that’s his name. A blue-haired kid that can only speak like this: “beep bo bop”. A kid that’s got a knack for singing into the mic, with his other hand jammed into the pocket of his jeans. Someone that’s got blue balls — literally. You’ll see what I mean when he “breaks”. As if it couldn’t be any less original, his girlfriend is called — yup, you guessed it — Girlfriend. Her dad? Daddy Dearest. The mother? Mommy Must Murder.

Friday Night Funkin' title screen

Girlfriend doesn’t come from any ordinary family. Her parents are purple-skinned demons. How she ended up being white, only God knows. But Girlfriend’s parents don’t take Boyfriend too kindly. They actually want to kill him. The only way they’ll soften up? The power of music.

And so, Boyfriend must sync his lyrics with the verses his opponents sing. How this is done is basically like Dance Dance Revolution. Generally, your opponent will sing for a few moments. Afterwards, it’ll be your turn. Arrows move up towards the top of the screen, and it’s your goal to match those arrows to the arrows up top with the presses of your keyboard. Match it up in time, Boyfriend will sing. Miss, and he won’t. Miss too many, and it’s game over. Sometimes you’ll sing in duets. Opponents besides Girlfriend’s parents include a kid with an Uzi named Pico, Spooky Kids, a creepy lemon head, and later on you’ll be warped into the 16-bit era facing off another lover of Girlfriend, Senpai.

Friday Night Funkin' vs. Daddy Dearest

As of the week 7 update, it’s possible to change controls, but I have not been able to use a gamepad directly. I just configure my DualSense’s controls to mimic the keyboard on the desktop via Steam. There’s currently no online leaderboard, but multiplayer is possible thanks to the modding community.

You can choose easy, normal, or hard modes for each opponent, or “week.” Playing against Daddy Dearest will be pretty easy, but the second week against the Spooky Kids is no joke. I’d like to say that the game progressively gets more difficult as you go down the weeks, but it seems each week has its own difficulty curve. So for example, while Week 2 with the Spooky Kids is hard, Week 3 with Pico isn’t as bad, at least based on my experience.

Friday Night Funkin' VS. Pico

Originally the game was submitted for Ludum Dare 47 — an online event where games are made in a single weekend. Since then, the game seemingly exploded overnight in popularity, and has spawned countless fan animations and mods. Popular mods include dancing with a nun, battling a person with a bomb as his head, and trying to survive facing a clown. The main game itself continues to get updated as well, with new “weeks” to try in the Story mode, where you face off against a new opponent in a new environment, with several new songs.

The soundtrack itself is nothing short of spectacular. It’s a bit difficult to describe what kind of genre it’s in, but they fit the game very well. You can freely stream the soundtrack on Spotify and Bandcamp. This is also coupled with the excellent artwork that seems reminescent of the early-to-mid 2000s flash animations, and characters that are truly original. Sorry, SuperTuxKart, you’re no longer my favorite open-source game.

Friday Night Funkin' vs. Senpai

Want to give it a try? You can play the game right through your browser on itch.io. If you want the standalone download, you can get the Windows, Mac, and Linux versions. Beware, however, as of right now the Linux version is running slightly behind the other platforms. If you want the latest version, you can compile the source.

Source, you say? Yes, that’s right — the game is not only free but it’s open-source! It’s written in this language called Haxe and is distributed under the Apache-2.0 license.

Just recently the developers released week 7 as a timed exclusive to Newgrounds. Don’t bother going there though; the amount of traffic caused by this game caused the whole site to crash:

Newgrounds traffic overload because of Friday Night Funkin'

Want to see more? The developers just released a Kickstarter to turn the demo of Friday Night Funkin’ into a full game. They’re only asking for a $60k goal, but they’ve already raised over a million. Jeeze, guess it just shows how popular this game is.

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