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Banana Kong Review
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Banana Kong, an endless jungle runner from FDG Entertainment and Gamaga, is now available from the app store. Featuring slick cartoon graphics, upgradeable power-ups, and a multi-tiered playing surface, Banana Kong is a light-hearted addition whose fruity stinginess is its biggest fault.

Banana Kong Pros:

  • Great cartoon graphics and clean animations
  • Soundtrack has Donkey Kong-type feel
  • Controls are touch- and gesture-based
  • Upgradeable power-ups and consumable utilities enhance gameplay
  • GameCenter integration for leaderboards and achievements

Banana Kong Cons:

  • Upgrade costs are pricey, rate of banana acquisition is quite low
  • Repetitive, you’ve seen everything there is to see after a short while

You play as a gorilla attempting to escape a banana avalanche for as long as possible. As he auto-runs across the screen, he can snag bananas that are sporadically placed along the way. Bananas act as a currency that allows him to purchase and upgrade various persistent power-ups and consumable utilities, though the rate at which you acquire bananas and the cost of the special items seem to preclude you from quickly beefing up your simian’s abilities. You also have 3 side missions at any given time to complete, which will also earn you bunches of bananas. Bananas collected during your run will charge an energy meter, allowing you to power-dash for a short distance to put space between you and the avalanche, as well as take out an obstacle or two. Generally, obstacles like rolling logs, walls, crashed aircraft, rocks, water, fallen stalactites, lava, and more will end your run upon contact. However, there are some items like flowers that act as trampolines, vine swings that propel you forward over waterways, and more that can provide help in passing certain areas.

The terrain is flat, with multiple tiers to hop on and drop down to, as well as points to access underground caves or treetops for a slightly different experience. Each section has a unique look and fun animals to use. You can catch a ride with toucans in the jungle, allowing you to fly until impacted by an obstacle, at which point you lose your mode of transportation but continue your journey. While underground, you can hop on a boar, barreling through obstacles as if they weren’t even there. It adds some surprise fun when they appear and gives players a new challenge to hang on for as long as they can. There are no on-screen buttons, as you need only to tap to jump, swipe down to drop from a higher level to a lower level, swipe forward to power-dash when active, or hold your finger on the screen to use a banana leaf to glide for a very short time. The controls are very responsive and intuitive, making the game accessible to all players. The soundtrack has a cheery, upbeat feel that matches the game’s light style.

Replay value is pretty good, as the randomly-generated levels keep things fresh and the power-ups can alter gameplay significantly provided you don’t lose interest due to slow acquisition of bananas needed to upgrade items. GameCenter integration provides leaderboards and achievements, as well as challenge your friends distance scores as noted by signposts along your way. A universal app for $0.99, Banana Kong is a 4-Dimple offering.

Banana Kong Review, reviewed by Kevin on 2013-01-25T00:24:30+00:00 rating 4.0 out of 5

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