Monkey Quest is a fun adventure dragged down by repetitive quests
Unlike most massively multiplayer online games, Monkey Quest doesn’t let you loose in an giant, open world. Sure, there’s lots to explore in the game, but you’ll be doing it while playing a 2D side-scrolling platform game. It’s as if the classic Donkey Kong Country games were given the MMO treatment. And because Monkey Quest is aimed at a younger audience, it’s a pretty simplified experience, which means that even though there’s a lot to do and see the game can still get quite repetitive very quickly.
Monkey Quest takes place in a world called Ook, that’s absolutely teeming with monkeys. It’s not some sort of dystopic, Planet of the Apes-type scenario, though. The monkeys are all generally pretty friendly. But there’s an evil shadow force that’s encroaching on the world and it’s your job to stop it by completing a whole lot of quests.
Yes, as the title implies, the game is as full of quests as it is monkeys. Most of these are relatively simple tasks that ask you to do little more than deliver items or messages, but there are a few fun twists on the formula. In addition to navigating platforms, swinging on ropes, and engaging in basic combat with enemies (your trusty sligshot gets quite a workout), there are also stealth sections and boss battles, as well as co-operative sections that can only be completed by teaming up with other players.
The gameplay and controls are intuitive, and navigating the world is simple. You can’t even really get lost as a helpful compass always points you in the right direction. The problem is, even with some interesting twists, the quests are all largely the same. You go one place and do something, and then come back. RInse and repeat. Even for the younger audience the game is aimed at this will likely become tiresome after a while.
Thankfully there’s more to do. As with most online games, you can outfit yourself with new gear that you either collect in the game or buy. Since Monkey Quest is free-to-play there are a number of premium items to purchas (as wel as premium areas to explore), but you can get by just fine spending only the basic currency. Which is, of course, bananas. When you throw on some new clothes it changes your monkey’s appearance, which is a nice touch.
Of course you can also interact with other players. Since Monkey Quest is built for younger gamers, the social interactions are somewhat limited for safety purposes, but you can still find friends and go on quests with them. The game also uses a similar naming style as Wizard 101, where you can’t choose your own name but instead have to put one together from pre-selected words. How else would you end up with a monkey named Ricardo Dustgrab?
While it’s a 2D game, Monkey Quest features fully 3D graphics that look great, especially for a browser game. The monkeys animate smoothly and are packed with personality, while the different areas you’ll be exploring have a great deal of variety to them. Everything from snowcapped mountains to sweltering volcanoes are awaiting you to explore, which at least makes it feel like there’s a bit more variety. You may be doing the same style of quest over and over, but at least your doing it in different environments.
Monkey Quest does a good job of creating an online experience suitable for younger gamers, with an easy-to-understand style of gameplay and a unique and expansive world to explore. It’s just too bad there isn’t more variety to the plentiful quests, as the constant back and forth can grow tiresome, no matter how old you are.