Review by striker64

"Monkeys, monkeys, monkeys!"

Story
What story? I can’t give a rating for something that doesn’t exist. You’re a monkey... inside of a ball... running around on tracks. The neat thing is that you tilt the track to move your monkey ball, not the monkey ball itself. The game greatly resembles the old “board” game Labyrinth, where you had to guide a steel ball to the end of a maze full of holes by tilting the actual floor left, right, up, and down. There’s also a resemblance to the classic game Marble Madness, just this is quite different.

Gameplay/Fun Factor
9/10
This game is ADDICTIVE. It’s quite fun. It’s a simple design, but with over 100 total levels, it’s sure to keep you occupied for a while. Some of the harder Expert stages will likely get on your nerves after a while, but that’s okay. There are tons of hidden areas and warps within the stages that will keep you looking and keep the game good. Practice mode lets you play any stage that you’ve opened as many times as you like, so you can go back to this and perfect the stage. This practice mode is extremely useful as there have been areas I’ve needed to go back and practice many-a-time.

Multiplayer
8/10
Excellent. There are Mini-games, a Monkey race, and all kinds of fun stuff. One multiplayer game even puts at most 4 monkeys in the arena, and each monkey has a boxing glove with a spring attached to it. I think you get the idea. The Monkey race isn’t just a multiplayer afterthought – it was well thought out indeed. All of the race arenas are unique to the Grand Prix and are not featured in any other mode of play.

Graphics
7/10
The gameplay graphics are smooth. No jumps, no ripples, no annoyances. However, some of the backgrounds are very simplistic, thus causing me to drop the score a little. Other than that, the graphics are good.

Sounds
5/10
The sounds can get annoying. At first, I thought the background music was neat, then it was just okay, and now I listen to my radio while I play. The sound effects are really nothing special in the main game, but in multiplayer, especially in the Monkey race, the sound effects add a fun touch. One sound in the main game that I found to be particularly cool is the sound of your monkey ball moving at near-top speed. It really helps create a sensation of reality within the stages and it keeps you on your toes.

Overall
8/10
Normally, with those ratings, I’d give a game a 7, but I think this game deserves an 8. The sounds, like I said, can get annoying, but they do not drag down the overall feel of the game whatsoever. If you’re a fan of strategic games, get this one. It’s well worth it. If you’re not sure, rent it first. I wasn’t a particular fan of a strategic game such as this one before I played it, but I rented it and I was pleasantly surprised. I think you will be too, but again, if you’re not sure, scrape up $6 and rent it first.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 12/28/01, Updated 08/26/02


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