App Reviewed on: iPhone 4
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It's not often I find myself thinking that an iPhone game at the dollar price tag is too short, but sometimes a good idea is let down by a lack of commitment. Even with the low, low prices of iOS games, immensely deep-yet-cheap experiences like Angry Birds and Flight Control keep the bar of expectation high. So the eight quickly devoured levels Mogo the Monkey's opening episode offers are overall disappointing, especially given that there's clearly a fun game hiding beneath the brevity.
Mogo the Monkey is very similar to Angry Birds, but its 2D rocket-and-grenade physics mechanics are more reminiscent of the 90s classic Worms with the inclusion of a line of aim and the more obviously comparable weapons, not that there are too many weapons to compare. There's the regular banana rocket, a fruity grenade, a sticky (ahem) poo bomb that's exploded with a screen tap, and finally a parachute bomb that can be stopped mid-air with a tap and then guided as it descends using screen tilt. They're all fun enough and in the eight colourful, cartoonish levels are applied well, especially within the later levels which have more step-by-step solutions that require greater strategy. Having said that, the game is very difficult from the start and comes with precious little guidance. Still, there's nothing wrong with a bit of challenge sometimes, especially when you've only got eight levels to work with.
Yes, I realize I'm in broken record mode. And yes, there's the seeming promise of extra levels in future episodes, and yes, there is a modicum of replay value for players interested in the game's accompanying competition - if you do well enough to earn a golden banana in each level then you'll get entered into a draw with a chance to win some very glamorous prizes (see the screenshot below). Unfortunately you have to be in Australia to be entered into that draw, otherwise US players only have a chance of winning some iTunes vouchers. With all that stated and put to one side, the game is still way too short. Like a banana, it's gone before you really had a chance to enjoy it.
If you think you're rather handy when it comes to Angry Birds, especially if you're an Aussie, then maybe Mogo the Monkey will offer a brief but welcome change of scenery from ornithological warfare with the potential to earn you some winnings. Otherwise, even at just 99 cents, iPhone gamers could do a lot better.