When I was asked to check out Gun Monkeys I didn’t quite know what to expect, from the name I assumed that it would involve guns, and monkeys battling it out somehow. I wasn’t wrong. Gun Monkeys is a 2D platform battler where two players either local or online take on eachother in order to drain the opponents “Power Core”.
The game is a fairly simple online multiplayer title. You and your opponent start with a Power Core each at a 200 Power Level, throughout the entire level the power is slowly draining out of your Power Core so you’re required to collect Power Cubes in order to keep it topped up. At the same time your opponent is trying to do exactly the same thing, so why not add some guns into the mix so you can defend yourself and prevent your opponent from getting the Power Cubes.
You can hold up to 3 Power Cubes at once, the more you hold when you get back to your Power Core with the Power Cubes you get a bigger reward in power this also depletes your opponents power at the same time. If you die, you lose the Power Cubes you had as well as drain power from your Power Core in order to regenerate your chimptastic character.
This game could be a truly fantastic game, the only problem is; no-one plays it. The most people I’ve seen playing Gun Monkeys at once is three including myself. That is probably why there’s also a local mode so you and a friend can play against eachother to your heart’s content.
At the end of each round you’re given a total amount of cash depending on your performance. If you did terrible and lost all of your power, sorry but you owe the game cash, if you’re skilled enough to be crowned the winner you’re given cash. This money can be used to power-up your team using perks, these perks give you little upgrades like, higher jumps, faster shooting, y’know, that sort of thing. Speaking of power-ups, during play you’re also given box drops which include some sort of fantastical mysterious and overly powered weapon to use until the ammo runs out, it’s fun for around 3 seconds until you’ve used up all of the ammo.
The graphics of this game are pretty simple, it feels slightly hand-drawn and is primarily 2D. There’s also a constant “glowing” appearance to each level giving you the feeling of looking at a 3D movie without 3D glasses. It’s not unpleasant, but it can be a little vibrant for the eyes at times. The way the game is presented is really noisy too, not sound wise, but picture wise, it has a feeling of watching it through an old TV that’s not quite tuned right. I’m a huge fan of the monkeys though, whack one of these on a t-shirt or make a vinyl figure and I’m sold, I’ll buy one of every colour please.
Speaking of the monkey, you can – to a point – customise your monkey to your tastes, you can choose the little chimp’s hair colour as well as the accent colour, and.. well.. that’s it.
Musically the game won’t win any ‘Soundtrack of the Year’ awards but the soundtrack does go with the game, it’s that sort of fast paced electro music which you’d occasionally hear during a chase montage or a particularly tense moment in an episode of Burn Notice as Michael Westen is hacking into an encrypted system with only a few seconds until his cover is blown (don’t worry, he manages to do it in time).
The gameplay is a little fast paced so if you decide to just jump in without going through the tutorial you’re going to have a bad time. I actually had to run through it twice myself in order to understand the whole Power Core malarkey. After I got to grips with the gameplay I jumped straight into the one game that was available with a player that had loaded up on four different perks, I have to say it didn’t go well. If anything it’s a little too fast paced.
I believe that if this game had more players of different skill sets it’d be a more fun game to play but sadly right now there aren’t enough players to judge the game for what it possibly could be and that’s a fast paced mental platformer.
I urge you to go and grab Gun Monkeys from Steam for only £3.99. For me it’ll be one of those games that I buy and then leave to collect dust in my ever growing Steam collection – only to dig out every now and again for a bit of chimptastic gameplay.