Developer: Chillingo
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4

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

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

As fun as they may be, block busting games are rarely the most visually exciting. Instead, they’re frequently exactly what the name suggests: a ball bouncing around the screen taking out bricks scattered around the level. Clearly the makers of Monkey Slam decided that was too staid and dull. What better way than to spice things up by adding monkeys?

Monkey Slam maintains the same block busting elements of the likes of Arkanoid but it’s altogether more charming with the assistance of a cute monkey and ape. The monkey bounces around the screen smashing up the blocks, while the ape throws the smaller creature skywards. It makes for a sometimes frantic but always interesting experience with everything about Monkey Slam exuding speed yet cuteness.

Monkey Slam inundates players with combo names and score based rewards for clearing plenty of blocks at once. This can be done either by bouncing the monkey around or by activating certain bombs and using power ups that causes the monkey to multiply. Bananas can also be used to destroy certain blocks, and also form the only in-app purchase available here, but they’re far from essential.

The gameplay might be very familiar but it is Monkey Slam‘s execution that makes it stand out. It feels more like a form of pinball than a regular brick busting title, thanks to the varied level designs.

It’s not perfect by any means with the size of the ape making it tricky to line him up correctly at times. Controls can also be a little clumsy and not always as accurate as you’d like, even despite the option of tilt and touch based methods. Despite the rough moments, Monkey Slam succeeds thanks to its charm and change of pace for an usually predictably genre. The wide variety of level based challenges and goals rounds off the package nicely, forming a fun treat to dive into.

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