Friday, January 25

Review: Monkey Wall [Nintendo Switch eShop]


In general I’m a firm believer in the idea that diversity on the Switch, being able to consume and enjoy titles from the AAA full-price level to smaller and simpler budget titles, is a good thing. Simpler games can risk moving over into mobile game territory but for the right audience there may not be anything truly wrong with that given that Switch is a mobile platform just as much as it is a home console. Monkey Wall falls into that space, taking a pretty simple idea, completing a simple pattern in a 9 block grid, and running with it to a degree but nothing more and carries a budget price… take it or leave it.


Somewhat like another earlier title, Puzzle Wall, this challenges you to contort into a pose to pass through a specifically-shaped hole in a wall. Where that title used the motion controls to have you position your arms, Monkey Wall relies on the touchscreen and is more indirect. Here you’ll see patterns formed on a simple 3 x 3 grid coming at you, and your goal is to take whatever incomplete version of that is shown to you and make it match. At first this is very easy, but after a short while the difficulty does ramp up. Whether tilting your pattern to different angles, showing 2 alternating patterns where only 1 is correct or even making you recreate the entire pattern, these can make you think for a moment, and time is always ticking. Fail and hit the wall enough times and your round will end. In a nutshell that’s all there is, you’ll then just be trying to get further and get a higher score.


For people just looking for something quick and modestly challenging it may not be a bad match. At first I thought perhaps it would be a great game for kids, but while the silly characters and light play do seem to make it seem like a good fit the quick swing from being very easy to difficult, with no settings to alter the degree of challenge, may make it too quickly aggravating for them depending on the age. Overall, for the price, Monkey Wall delivers cute presentation and a decent experience if you’re willing to accept its simplicity, just don’t come to the table with any expectations of depth.


Score: 6

Pros:

  • Simple to understand and carries a budget price
  • A variety of silly characters to choose from
  • Gets pretty challenging if you enjoy the core gameplay


Cons:

  • While kid-accessible the difficulty curve may discourage them, depending on the age
  • No ability to adjust the difficulty
  • Local leaderboards only