Minis Review – Manic Monkey Mayhem

Nothing is more fun that a barrel of monkeys, no? That’s what they say anyway. That’s also what The Code Monkeys believed when they released Manic Monkey Mayhem. Originally a WiiWare title, the game was later ported to iPhone and PSP. Does it retain the same level of success on Sony’s platform?

Manic Monkey Mayhem puts you in control of a monkey in battle royale type setting. You’ll be throwing bananas, coconuts, and even shooting a “bazookanana” to eliminate your opponents, while trying to avoid having the same done to you the entire time. Although there are platforms to jump around on, there are no real platforming elements. Press the button and you move to the next platform, no big deal. To attack with the aforementioned items you must not only aim your monkey at the target, but hold down the button to determine how far it will fly.

The three campaigns are ten matches each, with their own permutations on the previous mechanics. While in one match you must survive for a certain amount of time without being able to attack, another has your hitting targets with a limited number of ammo, or even an explosive version of Hot Potato. After you complete a campaign the next one unlocks with a higher level of difficulty. The game asks if you wish save after every single mission, regardless of if you beat the challenge. Although the save itself doesn’t take very long, it’s pretty annoying to see it every. single. time. The game itself is fairly solid. The controls work fine and you cannot blame the game for losing because of a glitch. Everything is fair, if not frustrating.

The visuals of Manic Monkey Mayhem are definitely the strong part, if there was something strong to say. Eight different stages with their own themes are bright and vibrant. The monkeys are pleasant to look at even when upscaled on the PS3’s PlayStation mini emulator. Not the text though – those pixels are blown up way to big.

Oh, and some of the monkeys have the Wilhelm Scream.

Going through these campaigns were fun enough, but it really left me feeling for… something more. After researching this game, I found out that the WiiWare version was a party game with split-screen or online multiplayer. And that’s what it was missing, an ad-hoc multiplayer. It’s a party game that doesn’t really have the legs to stand up while playing alone. Playing on a portable system makes it suited for quick 5 minute bouts, but it gets pretty boring with the limited variety.

When it comes down to it, Manic Monkey Mayhem isn’t really worth playing at $4.99. It only costs the price of lunch at a fast food joint and that probably would be your only justification for getting it. More fun than a barrel of monkeys? It feels more like one or two monkeys that get tired very quickly.

PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score

Solid controls provide challenging missions

Lack of multiplayer limits the game to one afternoon

Pretty expensive for a mini

4 out of 10