Habbo should stick to the hotel business
One of the things that social game players have come to accept is a level of tedium or repetition in the things that they do. Farmville, for example, has you harvesting your crops and maintaining your farm on a daily basis. Lost Monkey on the other hand, includes all the repetition without the guilt of spoiled crops and wasted effort. Unfortunately, the core game is not good enough to keep players coming back.
Lost Monkey has you playing a monkey stranded on an island, trying to get back to civilization. It has a leveling system, where each level has you finding another part to build a transporter. You play mini-games that increase your experience, but also drains energy from your monkey. You can recoup energy by letting time past, or using the gold you earn in the mini-games to purchase bananas. Of course, you can also buy coconuts with real-world cash, which can be used to purchase energy drinks that will allow you to play more mini-games immediately.
Not having a daily upkeep in a social game is fairly liberating, and is one of the best aspects of the game. Numerous social games have grated on me because of the obligation I felt to play the game every day, unless I wanted complete bedlam to break out. In Lost Monkey, I appreciated the stress-free approach. I was able to hop in at any time rather than feel an obligation to play. However, from a developer perspective, the way Lost Monkey is set up is not going to keep players coming back. One is a by-product of the design of the game not forcing you into playing each day, the other is that the game has three mini-games (and three variants on the same idea) that aren’t much fun.
The first mini-game is dumbed-down music game. You play the bongo drums by tapping them as fruit falls down vertically from the screen. The subsequent version of the game is much harder, and quite honestly, impossible to play if you don’t have a hard surface to place your iPhone down on. There are three drums and fruit comes down on all of them at the same time. If you’re holding the phone and playing with your thumbs, you’re not going to be able to tap all three fruits at the same time and you will fail.
The other two games are not much better. One has you memorizing a string of letters and typing them out on a typewriter. The last one is perhaps the best of the bunch—you try to put bananas into a crate while removing spoiled bananas and bombs, and picking up extra time so you can get a higher score.
As for the social aspects of the game, Lost Monkey is highly connected to Habbo Hotel. You need a Habbo account to accept visitors and visit other players’ islands. The decoration possibilities are pretty slim at this point and it does not lend itself to much individuality, so there really isn’t much of a reason to check out another player’s island that will look almost exactly like your own.
I can’t help but feel that this game was made simply to get more people to sign up for Habbo Hotel. In the game’s current state, there is no compelling reason to come back and play the same dull mini-games over and over again. Perhaps with the addition of a wider range of items to stylize your island and the inclusion of more and better mini-games this could have been a nice little time waster. Instead, this game is simply a waste of time.