Monkey Pirates is a cute little game from the people at Henchmen Studio, where you are the captain of your own pirate ship. Sailing around various levels your goal is to blow up all of the enemy ships without getting hit so you can collect their booty (banana’s in this case) for yourself. With a fun multiplayer mode and a few challenges here and there to keep the solo player busy, Monkey Pirates is a game that’s easy to pick up and fun to play…for a while.
I have to admit I liked this game a lot more than I thought I would. The fun beach scenery and original characters were really neat to look at, I actually felt like I was in a tropical setting. All of the graphics and scenery are very colorful and cartoony, but not in a cheesy way. Everything looked very smooth and vivid, It was definitely one of the things about this game that caught my attention. All of the Monkey Pirates have their own special abilities and unique look about them. I actually found the 4 characters you have to choose from to be quite memorable. (Sadly I couldn’t find a picture of all 4)
When you first start out there is a quick tutorial you can play through that explains the game pretty well. If I had to relate it to anything I would say its like sailing the ocean in the Legend of Zelda the Wind Waker. The difference is the view is top down and you cant change the wind direction manually. While playing Monkey Pirates you can either play using the WiiU gamepad or a Wii remote. Using the wind to your advantage you must guide your ship around rock coves, icebergs, and your enemies weapons. By pressing the A button you can shoot unlimited cannons from your ship. But each crew has different speeds at which they load your cannons so you have to choose a character strategically. If you are hit you become invincible for around 2 seconds. If you wreck your ship or its hit 3 times you will respawn at a different loacation but beware as you have limited lives.
There is a Challenge mode for people playing alone, and multiplayer mode for up to 5 people using the Wii remotes. In challenge mode you can choose between 3 different minigames, each with a different goal. One for example has you sailing around the level of your choice (there are 9 in all) collecting as many barrels of treasure as you can within the given amount of time. While in another, your mission is to sink as many enemy pirate ships as you can and collect their bananas. The amount of banana’s you get depends on the distance in which you shoot from. A successful shot from a close range only earns you 5 banana’s, while one from halfway across the level can earn you up to 10 banana’s. Challenge mode is fun for a while but it feels a bit repetitive as there are only 4 challenges to choose from.
Multiplayer mode is fun when your tired of playing alone but once again you don’t have many options to choose from here. One of the Multiplayer choices is the Sea King mode which has one person on the WiiU gamepad and the others using Wiimotes. Here the person using the gamepad chooses a deed, which they have to make sure the other players complete. The player that is using the gamepad can see everything that’s going on in the game. They can also drop items onto the map that can either help other players out or mess them up pretty good. There isn’t much info on exactly how to play this game which I thought was a bit weird but I suppose some people will figure it out, hopefully.
Another multiplayer game is Jolly Roger mode. Where each player wants to maintain Jolly Roger status, but you have to defend the title against your friends if you want to keep it! You can choose ‘Banana Race’ mode and see who can collect the most banana’s in the set amount of time. And last but not least is ‘Stand by the Board’ which is pretty much an all out battle minigame. The last 3 multiplayer modes I mentioned are played using only the Wiimotes. the gamepad is not used during these games.
I would enjoy this game a lot more If it had an online multiplayer mode. Seeing as its not really a barrel of fun if your only playing with 2 people. Also this game needs a story mode or something. Its got everything a good game needs. Smooth gameplay, catchy music, fun colorful graphics and it’s only $4.99 in the WiiU Eshop. If only there were more to do! Even though I haven’t played this game a lot lately I have found myself going back to it once in a while to kill some time. While I don’t think this is necessarily the funnest game you’ll be playing on your WiiU, I do recommend it for people that like a quick challenge and also those who enjoy a bit of ‘monkeying’ around in multiplayer with friends.