Developer: Munsey Clan Games
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2
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Game Controls Rating:
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Ack! As an iOS gamer who isn’t partial to Angry Birds-inspired physics games, that was my initial reaction to Missile Monkey. Why? Well there’s the threadbare flying theme, the tired destroying evil foes by breaking through their fortifications objective, and the requisite “animals take revenge” motif. I can see the merit in a good variation, but Missile Monkey's extra-vapid premise and mediocre execution is exactly the sort of poor take on an exhausted premise that I dislike most.
Let’s get the story squared away: an evil Viking gorilla has peppered “frightful” orange balloons across four worlds to “strike fear into the hearts of its peaceful inhabitants.” See what I mean? The premise makes no sense, and less still when a mad-as-heck monkey takes to the sky in defence of the Chompers - helpless square pink robo-bunnies.
Look beyond and there’s the middling gaming. Each level is a short trip across the screen for the primate fighter pilot, who uses his “ballistic skills” to take out less-than-menacing balloons.
The game uses a two-button control scheme. On the bottom right there’s the, um, let’s call it the missile-dropping button that dumps up to 20 projectiles in a dead-straight downward trajectory. On the lower left, tapping a guidance button propels the missiles due west once they're in the air. So much for accurate physics.
Players have about 30 seconds to drop enough ammo and launch it forward into increasingly complex defenses. Getting used to the controls was a little like learning how to pat my head while rubbing my belly, but once I got the hang of it, I put 30 of the 80 levels behind me quickly. That as far as I wanted to play and it took under 10 minutes.
The opening animated sequence and backgrounds are well done, even if the marauding monkey is not in view during the missions. The controls are reasonably responsive too, but gameplay is easy, luck-based and uninspired.
There's much the developers could do to improve Monkey Missile. The pace is unsatisfyingly slow even though the levels are short. I think it's just a matter of creating the illusion of speed, but without it, the battles hardly seem fraught with peril.
Also there is little replay value. There are scores awarded for each level, but it’s unclear what they are based on, as success seems solely dependent on taking out all the balloons. There are no stars nor any game network integration; neither leaderboards nor achievements. There are no bonuses to earn, nothing to unlock or upgrade, leaving the game feeling incomplete or rushed.
With so many great puzzle games on the App Store it's hard to find much to recommend Missile Monkey. Don't be made a monkey spending the $0.99.