148Apps Network Post
Developer: Dawn of Play

Price: $0.99
Version: 1.1.2
App Reviewed on: iPad

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
User Interface Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★★
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

During the 80’s and early 90’s handheld LCD games were all the rage. They were cheap, well themed, and relatively fun (at the time). I can remember begging my mother to buy me games from Tiger, Nintendo, Mattel, and all the other companies that were jumping onto the LCD gaming bandwagon at the time. Of course, I only ever got my hands on a few, but I still cherish the fond memories playing on the tiny black and green screens. I am sure many of you have a similar sense of nostalgia, and that’s great because Dawn of Play is here to ease your pain with their rendition of classic LCD gaming.

Monkey Labour bleeds retro style. As soon as you boot it up you will be pulled back into a simpler time where bleeps and bloops were the only sound effects available, and rechargeable batteries were just a sci-fi dream. The app starts with you looking at the back of an old LCD gaming device with a slip of paper carelessly laying on top of it. If you flick the paper you will be rewarded with the simple rules of the game. When you are ready to get into the action just click play and the handheld will flip over to reveal the retro handheld in all of its glory. There is a very simple interface with sound options, start, select, and movement. Simply mash the start button and prepare yourself for a blast from the past. Dawn of Play did a great job on the presentation, as it really adds a unique feel to the whole experience.

The gameplay is simple yet addictive because it builds in difficulty at a frantic pace (in true classic style). You are tasked with controlling a droid that runs back and forth throwing bricks into a furnace to stoke a fire. All the while, a large monkey hurls his own set of bricks down on your little metallic cranium. Avoid the onslaught of raining bricks and stoke the fire just right to burn your primate nemesis. If you can do this over and over again without getting hit you will build up a nice score multiplier. It sounds easy, but trust me, there are layers of strategy waiting to be unveiled. Players that don’t have experience with the classic LCD games might be thrown off by the erratic movement of the characters and objects on screen, but after a few moments of play you shouldn’t even notice.

It isn’t all a retro affair though. Dawn of Play must’ve thought it would be a great idea to add some modern amenities to the game. There’s some great game center integration with a very clever set of achievements and leader board support (I’m in the top 10% as of this review). Monkey Labour is a solid and entertaining experience, and it has the potential to chip away large chunks of your time if you aren’t careful. High score junkies, retro gamers, and achievement hounds should really enjoy the classic fun provided by Dawn of Play’s tribute to the early days of handheld gaming.

148Apps Network content from - http://theportablegamer.com
Posted in: Games, iPhone Apps and Games, Reviews

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