iPhone Game Review: Paradise Monkeys Reviewed by JadeDragon
Utilizing the responsive touch screen on the iPhone and iPod touch, Paradise Monkeys is a fun, casual Whac-a-mole game that mixes humor with frantic actions topped with cheery island music. A bad monkey named Dracula (who else?) wants to take all the bananas on the island, and you must stop him by taking a 45-level monkey poking journey peppered with obstacles and boss fights. Can you survive this island adventure?
Though the game doesn?t require more than poking at the screen, Paradise Monkeys serves up some challenging levels. There are three game modes in the game: the story mode sees you through 45 levels in a 5-level group interval, time attack mode gives you options to play the game in 60 seconds, 120 seconds and unlimited time trials, and the mini game mode which you will need to unlock offers two different gameplays. The story mode is where the meat of the gameplay is at, you get four normal levels then a boss level in each of the 9 groups. You start out with 3 lives and a basic ring, and as you move through the levels and earn money, you can buy more lives and upgrade your weapons. The game starts you out with one kind of monkeys, and all you have to do is to poke the monkeys before they disappear. As you move up in levels, you will get new kinds of monkeys that might require more than one pokes to qualify as a hit and the ones that you must not touch. In some ways, the gameplay is very similar to the western shooters like Westbang or Police Range.
The game can get hectic very fast in Paradise Monkeys as you have to remember how many pokes for different kind of monkeys all the while trying not to hit the ones you shouldn?t hit. That?s where the better weapons can help you in a big way: with better weapons, each poke can count as 2, 3 or 4 pokes. So if the advanced monkeys or a boss require 4 touches, you save a lot of touches by using the higher weapon. Of course the upgrades take money, and you can only make money by playing the story mode levels. This is where the game design has a bit of disconnection: you can?t go back to previously completed levels to earn more money, or use any Time mode games to earn more credit to buy weapon upgrades, health and other bonuses. So if you run out of money trying to beat a tough level, it?s game over for you or start again from level one.
In addition to health and weapon upgrade, you can also buy the mini games. There are two mini games: a balloon popping game and a banana waterslide game that resembles the gameplay of Guitar Hero. Again, there is a disconnection as what you achieve in these mini games have no impact on the Story Mode levels or gain any credits.
Graphics & Sound
Paradise Monkeys has colorful graphics that look sharp and cute. The monkeys have funny poses when they stand up, and each type of monkeys has his or her unique look. The menu, shop and level screens also look bright and colorful. The touch controls work smoothly and intuitively.
Paradise Monkeys has some very enjoyable island music that makes you feel like you are on a cruise ship. The themes fit the gameplay very well, and the beats help with the game tempo as well, especially in the banana slide mini game.
Paradise Monkeys is a fun game that has some gameplay depth and different playing modes. The casual gamers can find a quick yet challenging game in the Time Mode while more serious gamers can plow through the 45 levels of poking fun. The game modes need major integration to tie the gameplay together and let?s hope we will that in future updates.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 4.5 - Bright and colorful graphics that fit the island theme. Sound: - 4 - Cheery island calypso music creates a nice mood for the game. Controls: - 5 - Intuitive controls that work smoothly. Gameplay: - 4 - Each game mode is fun on its own, but there is not integration for deeper gameplay, i.e. earning money in different modes to make it through the Story Mode.
Playing Hints and Tips:
- The monkeys don?t disappear as fast as you think. So take enough time to make sure that you don?t hit the monkey with a ?don?t touch? sign.
- Upgrade the weapons first, then the permanent life upgrade. Mini games are fun, but don?t waste your money to get them first.