Funny enough, a monkey made it into space before humans. So it feels surprisingly appropriate that in Bonkies you play as a space chimp on an extraterrestrial mission.
Bonkies is a game about monkeys colonizing space. If that sounds silly, that’s because it is. To do it, they have to construct buildings on Earth, the moon, and other planets within the solar system.
But you’re not alone in your quest to conquer space – at least, not if you want help from a friend. This game has both a solo campaign and a couch co-op campaign. Actually, we’re told that the whole idea for the game came from the developer’s desire to have a couch co-op game while hospitalized.
Of course, monkeys aren’t the strongest creatures on the planet. So in order to construct these marvelous (and precarious) structures, you’ll use a trusty robotic arm that grabs metal boxes, glass, and other objects. Each level takes place on the same screen, and all you have to do to complete the level is finish a particular project. This may just involve stacking boxes in a certain place and holding them there for at least three seconds.
Some levels are multi-stage. So you’ll have an initial construction project. Once that is done, you’ll stack another project on top of the first, and then on top of the second, and so on. You can think of it like a Jenga tower of wooden blocks that keep stacking. This may sound simple enough, but you’ll find that it’s easy to knock over your structures.
Co-op is both helpful and frustrating
To be honest, I found it easier with a second person even though this game has the potential to devolve into a shouting match. So you’ll want to play with someone who is patient. By the way, the game supports up to four players, but I only played with a second person.
A big part of this game is the weight of the objects and physics. Heavier objects require you to boost in order to lift them. Sometimes you’ll need your partner to help you lift an object too. Also, they often come in Tetris-like shapes, so finding the best way to balance oddly-shaped objects can prove tricky.
This is a game where communication is key to success. If you both go into this doing your own thing, you’re going to fail. My advice: come up with a strategy for each level and clearly tell your partner what you plan on doing next. Work together instead of against each other and you’ll enjoy yourself.
Bonkies is a pretty basic concept where you have limited controls but where precise execution is required. More importantly, if you’re playing this game with someone else, cooperation is an absolute must.
I can’t recommend this game if you intend to play alone. However, if you have a friend or family member who likes puzzle-type games and you won’t kill each other trying to play it, check this out.
Game Freaks 365 received a review copy.