Gun Monkeys – game review
Gun Monkey offers a small package of high octane fun with pretty limited scope. Gun Monkeys is a 2D arena deathmatch game at heart, which fits in same genre as Gibbage, Showdown Effect or Soldat etc. The whole gameplay revolves around two players battling out, shooting at each other over various platforms and collecting power cubes and returning them to earn points. That pretty much sums up all the matches that you will encounter in the game; its not much but as I said in the start its fun for a small package deal.
Normally an arena game doesn’t require a story but a whimsical and nonsense background does exist presented via the tutorial of the game, explaining to you why the monkeys have gone bananas for power cubes. If I understand and rehash the story simply then it goes something like this that mankind found a powerful source of energy (the blue cubes in question), but those cubes are in future and its dangerous for humans to travel in future so instead they train monkeys with guns to do the deed for them. So, the harvesting monkeys of different energy companies have to battle each other to see how gathers the target before the other.
Gameplay wise the game is pretty simple. You control your monkey with WASD keys or with controller and have ability to shoot as well as drop bombs. Guns are upgradable with upgrade crates available at runtime in the level, while the bombs work like Bomberman/Dyna Blaster exploding both vertically and horizontally, so can be used to setup traps and intelligently block and destroy enemy. Each player has to collect power cubes and return to their home base, collect a bunch of them together before returning for extra bonus but do make sure you do make it back alive. Your base’s energy meter is constantly depleting and if you fail to provide energy before the meter hits zero then its game over. Matches can take around a minute to be over. Technically if you have played one match, you have played them all but its competing over and over and making rivals that adds fun to the game.
Winning the matches earns you money which can be spent to unlock perks. You are only able to hold four perks at once and none of the power-ups are going to win you a game. They will however grant you things like slightly longer pick-up effects, magnetic effect to pull cubes from distance etc. These things do add a layer of strategy to favor the perks as per your play style.
Visually the game is charming with unique use of shaders to give a rich smoke and glow effect which is really much more pleasing in motion than in screenshots. From your colorful monkeys to weapons everything glows in neon hue. The levels are procedurally generated, so every time the level design is something new and fresh; and thus you cannot master any particular level for spamming your hunts. The narrator (Voiced by Kevin Eldon) does constantly mock the player with charming and funny comments or give you tips of new power-ups, but it would have been nice if they were much bigger part of the game.
Even though solid on small fun side but my biggest complaint with the game remains its limited scope. The game doesn’t offer multiple game modes, which could have been easily introduced. Secondly it doesn’t offer any singleplayer matches vs bots. You can only do 1vs1 matches either online or against a local player. But if you fail to find friends online or don’t have anyone to play with, the game becomes useless. Online matches are never skill matches, so experienced players can make the game hell of an unhappy experience for new comers.
Gun Monkeys is a fun game whose downfall is lack of players, bots and game modes. It would be nice if developers do release some patch to add support for them and even add more features like character customization (who doesn’t want monkies in a top hat or holding a desperado like guitar gun).