Rasta Monkey in Review – Ganja Not Included

rastamonkey1I’ll be honest. I had a very hard time playing Rasta Monkey, without instantly comparing it to Sway. Both are platformers that use “physics” to swing/move your character from the starting line to the finish line. I will try to keep my focus however on the game at hand, Rasta Monkey…

rastamonkey2You play as a Rastafarian monkey (obviously) who’s job it is to collect different fruits by swinging and jumping across the level

“You play an extraordinarily happy Rastafarian monkey. One day, Your old father asks you to help the family out: “You need to collect dem fruits for mi special fruit-shake before mi head go CHAKA CHAKA!…”

You must swing around and grab onto branches, using your awesome monkey skills to snag some delicious fruit. Now go on, make your madda proud!”

As you can tell from the description above, it does try to mimic Rastafarian-speak throughout the game.

rastamonkey3All good platformers need to have precise controls. The controls in this game actually work quite well. Hold one of the corners to move in that direction (top right moves you along the top of the branch, bottom right moves you along the bottom of the branch). Hold both corners and your monkey begins to swing, and once you’ve gathered enough speed/momentum, you simply let go and your flight begins. While the control actually works well, I found this to be the most frustrating part of the game. I found it hard to get my speed just right and I never felt like I was in control of my monkey. It was ok for the first 7 levels but the last 3 were extremely difficult when you need some precise “launching” to end up in a little hole to go down the cave.

rastamonkey4I have to admit the game has a great “vibe”. The music is perfectly suited for the game, although it does get quite repetitive. That loop however, has been in my head for days now (what else is new?). The graphics are bright and colorful and also suit the game very well. The monkey doesn’t change and his body doesn’t move from the current posture you see, but the Rastafarian vibe and the yellow, green and red colors are evident throughout the game.

While I consider this a relatively short game, I found the first 7 levels quite repetitive and it wasn’t until the last few levels that some creativity was seen in the game. I of course wish there was more of this from the start rather than the simple swing from branch to the next branch of the first few levels.

rastamonkey5I do have to say that there were some moments in the game that the frame-rate suffered. There were times during my swing that the game would stutter though it did eventually catch up. It didn’t affect the game as I could keep swinging until the frame-rate corrected itself, but it was an annoyance. My other gripe is that when you die (and you will die often), you re-spawn from the checkpoint which is a great thing and there are many throughout the level, but for some reason, you do a sort of triple spin which just delays the restart. It’s not a huge deal in any way and again, doesn’t affect the gameplay but I just wish when you re-spawned, you were ready to start as opposed to watching a triple spin.

Although I’ve provided a few gripes, the game is still fun. It’s just nothing too special in my opinion (and that’s what you’re here for). It probably doesn’t help that this game has come out after Sway which I’m sure is affecting my view of the game. Had this come out first, I might have thought different, but currently with its few issues, fewer levels and simpler game play, I’m left wanting something more. I can however say Rasta Monkey is a game that’s fun to play, even if the ganja is not included.

Grab it Mon!


App Summary
Title: Rasta Monkey (v1.0) Developer: Nitako
Price: $1.99 App Size: 29.7 MB
  • Great “vibe”
  • Good Controls
  • Still a fun platformer
  • Simple/repetitive level design
  • Frustrating to aim your monkey
  • Some frame-rate issues


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