Developer: FDG Entertainment
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.4
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Immediately reminiscent of Nintendo’s classic Donkey Kong Country, Banana Kong is a fun and vibrant Endless Runner. It might not have the longevity of its inspiration but there’s still plenty of fun to be had.

A side scrolling endless runner, the player must flee from an avalanche of bananas coming from the left of the screen. Banana Kong is a challenging game in that, frequently, one knock by an obstacle can mean it’s all over for the cute gorilla. Fortunately, controls are simple and intuitive. Tapping once invokes a jump, while tapping and holding causes the gorilla to glide through the air and across the screen for a short distance. Swipes downwards cause him to jump down from a platform while a swipe to the right causes him to dash to the right, providing he’s eaten enough bananas in the last few seconds.

It’s simply done, as should be the case with any successful Endless Runner, with randomly generated levels ensuring there’s plenty of scope for variety. Besides leaping from platform to platform, dodging rocks, it’s possible to swing across vines and bounce from flower to flower. As a nod to Donkey Kong Country, it’s also possible to smash boulders to unveil secret exits, gaining more bonuses. A further nod comes from the ability to ride certain animals such as Warthogs and Toucans, thereby speeding along faster. In all cases, a series of challenges encourage players to pursue such avenues with extra bananas up for grabs.

It’s not all plain sailing for Banana Kong, though. An upgrade system, at a glance, offers plenty of options, but frequently these new additions cost quite a lot of bananas making it a long winded process. Few are hugely essential either, with things such as the Magnet bonus rarely popping up during play, making it a slightly pointless purchase. Balancing the upgrade system is a tough proposition but Banana Kong is slightly off the mark here.

Still, it’s tough to resist the charm of Banana Kong and while it’s never going to be as exceptional as the Donkey Kong Country series, it’s a warm, Endless Runner focused alternative.

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