Monkeys throwing bananas at each other. What could be better?
Manic Monkey Mayhem, from developers The Code Monkeys, has been released on PSP as another title in the growing list of games in the Minis range and it getâ€™s automatic bonus points from me for being based around battling monkeys who fight by throwing bananas at each other.
The game starts with the player creating a profile and choosing the monkey they wish to use throughout the game. Each of them has a little back story but, truth be told, there is no difference between them, other than fur colour, with all of the monkeys having the same abilities and powers. Once you have your monkey ready to go, you move onto the game itself, which actually has a decent selection of game modes for a Mini. There is a decent, lengthy campaign mode which is what I will concentrate on here, as the other modes are more or less versions of the stages which you will play during the campaign. It begins with a bunch tutorial stages where you learn the many techniques and moves you need to perfect to win the war of the primates.
The game basically revolves around your monkey standing on a podium and then throwing bananas at the other monkeys, or breakable crate targets, sitting on surrounding podiums, depending on the goal of whichever stage you are playing at the time. The controls are many and playing through the tutorials you wonder if you will ever need them all. But come game time you find yourself making use of all of them by second nature, be it turning and aiming using the analogue nub, dodging incoming fire using the d-pad or using the shoulder buttons and face buttons to fire, re-arm or jump from podium to podium.
Matches throughout the campaign are varied, including the likes of group death match, one on one death match, target breaking or scoring the most points out of all the monkeys in a free for all. The game modes all use the same basic game play in that you stand on a podium, any empty one is fair game if you can hop onto it. Then you aim at your target, be it monkey or crate, before holding down the X button to fill a power gauge and releasing to launch your fruit across the screen. This is where the skill comes in, judging the power of your throw to reach your intended target. Although this is occasionally put aside when you are given the, oh so fun to use, banana bazooka. It is a shame that these are few and far between.
The simple aim of the game when it comes to death matches, is to be the last monkey standing by knocking the others off their podiums until their lifeâ€™s are up. Other game types can involve breaking a set number of crates within a time limit or a point scoring round in which you have to be the monkey with the highest score at the end of the round.
And again, like a few other games in the Minis range that I have reviewed for the site, the variety in the stages is a good thing, as it means although the controls are the same, you are at least given a different goal for each stage and that is always welcome when it comes to these games.
Challenge wise, playing through the tutorials and the first of three parts of the campaign does not prove to be much of a challenge at all. But it does acclimatise you well to the game, before the second and third parts of the campaign ramp up the difficulty. Even then the most challenging of stages shouldnâ€™t prove too much trouble to any experienced gamer. A few stages may need to be played more than once but can usually be beaten relatively easily, even through the third part.
The graphics take on a cartoon like quality and, although these suit the game perfectly, they still look a little messy in places. Overall they look pretty good, doing what they need to do and the cartoon looks are pretty much spot on for the game itself. I mean, really, who does not like a cartoon monkey. This goes for the sound also. With a game that revolves around fighting monkeys, it would be pretty tough to get the sound wrong and the developers didnâ€™t disappoint there, with squealing and yelping monkeys everywhere.
All in all, The Code Monkeys Manic Monkey Mayhem, these guys must love our primate friends, is not an overly inspiring game but it is fun enough to keep you entertained for a few hours at least. Unfortunately it is not enough to keep you coming back time and again for more, being average at best on all fronts. The one thing the game does have going for it, is that it has those fighting monkeys and, as we are all aware, that is never a bad thing.
Manic Monkey Mayhem from developers The code Monkeys is available to download from the PSN store for the price of Â£3.49