Respecta da Rasta Monkey in Nitako's cute iPhone app.
Rasta Monkey is a fun platform game that challenges you to guide a Rastafarian monkey through various stages collecting specified amounts of fruit, the goal to help his "Dada" create delicious shakes. While not the deepest iPhone app, its cute presentation and mostly enjoyable swing mechanics should bring a smile to your face.
Before each stage, the old monkey (General Rasta Monkey the 3rd) informs you how many bananas, strawberries, apples and cherries you need to collect. From there, it's a matter to snagging the fruit and reaching the goal while swinging from tree to tree. Rasta Monkey loves performing cartwheels, and this is how you'll navigate the game's levels. Holding the iPhone horizontally, you press the right/left sides of the screen to make him cartwheel in those directions. To fling the monkey to a new area, you place two fingers on the screen (Rasta Monkey will continue to spin in place) and let go to fling him in the desired direction; he'll automatically grab onto the nearest branch.
Instead of making the game annoyingly difficult, publisher Nitako littered each level with check points and gave you unlimited lives. Even better, you'll still retain collected fruit after death, thus avoiding unnecessary backtracking. That doesn't mean the game's easy, however. Figuring out how to reach a high branch or swing off a UFO will gobble up much of your playing time.
With a name like Rasta Monkey, we expected a healthy dose of cute and Nitako delivered. Each 2-D level explodes with multiple colors and the monkey looks adorable with his wide grin and huge multicolored hat. We also dig the Caribbean-style music that makes us want to get up and dance, or at least dance while playing the game.
It doesn't take long, however, to get bored of Rasta Monkey, largely because each level features the same objective and play mechanics. The developers spiced things up with vines to swing off of, tunnels and the aforementioned UFO, but the core design of swinging off branches remains constant throughout the entire game. To avoid growing tired of it, we suggest playing a few levels at a time.
All of this amounts to a fun iPhone app that'll keep you entertained for a couple of hours. Rasta Monkey's one-note gameplay gets old, but its smiling monkey and jammin' beats make it a must play.
What's Hot: Simple controls, unlimited lives, well-placed checkpoints, vibrant 2-D graphics and one cool monkey, .99 until April 5th.
What's Not: Swinging gets old, slight performance hiccups.