Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Game Controls Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Those creepy, flying monkeys in The Wizard of Oz make me question my burning desire to go over that brilliant, technicolor rainbow every time. I consider the inevitable consequences, and yet, “If happy little bluebirds fly,” why, then, can’t I?
Battle Monkeys by Geek Beach is a universal game app heavy on strategy. I enter a primal arena as my angry monkey persona. If I want to, I can eventually transform into a slightly more mischeivous baboon or a largely more fierce gorilla, but I’m gonna have to pay money for that, so. . .
My mid-size monkey self is bare bones. No fancy markings, I wear an angular glare fit for battle. I cut my dagger eyeballs at the gorilla and the baboon while I trek a tribal grid fit for a game of safari chess. Symbological patterns beckon me to choose a skull, a heart, a gun, an explosive star, or even a handful of Zs.
The tutorial instructs me on the power function and informs me of the best time to jump to an icon of my choosing. My fellow battle monkeys do the same. Although the tutorial is helpful, it’s not particularly intuitive when the monkey stuff hits the screen, or whatever metaphor works.
My monkey self gets pounded by a gorilla with a spiked club and shocked with virtual volts by a baboon celebrating his victory by showing me a view of his striped backside. I have a nice time using my limited strategic knowledge of this game, but I fail to see where this is going. I keep dying on my square, or at least getting physically wounded to the point of seeing green and red stars swirl around my monkey brains.
The tribal beats of whips lashing and drums thrumming is appealing. Chanting monkeys keep a rhythm with the game. The design of the monkeys is a little stereotypical. They stomp over the game board with an appropriate seriousness for battle, and they are funny to watch as their triangular cross-eyed stares react to their battle play. The game’s background is stale and stilted, seeming incongruent with the more fleshy, sophisticated design of the monkeys.
Battle Monkeys reminds me of a classic game of Rock, Paper, Scissors. It’s primitive and ingrained into our cultural landscape. I can’t recall who taught me how to play it, but it seems that no matter where I went as a child, other kids could fall quickly into a game to pass a bit of idle recess time.
Battle Monkeys works similarly. It’s frivolous entertainment easily picked up to waste spare time, but it’s not worth a trip over the rainbow.