Monkey Games

Monkey Games - Going ape over bad puns as well as monkey-based games? Oh go on then.

If when you were younger you ever imagined yourself becoming a fan of a certain kind of game, it almost certainly wouldn't have been the monkey game genre you were aspiring to. These young hopes and dreams obviously didn't take into account the very many talented developers out there making sure that if a genre was going to be concerned with monkeys, then the games within it had better have something great to offer players and to rival other popular mainstream genres like shooting games or Music Games. And that's exactly what developers have managed to do, since the Monkey Game genre wouldn't exist if the games weren't at least good and the demand for them wasn't as such that it would cause such a specific genre to flourish. Enough talk about why these games are here however, and more talk about exactly which of our monkey games are going to rock your world the most. You'll find a convenient list of the best five - and in no particular order of brilliance or quality - just below.

Bloons Insanity Pack

If you thought the original Bloons series was difficult, then just wait until you have a go at Ninjakiwi's Bloons Insanity Pack. Difficulty levels here probably start off at the medium-hard level of previous games in the series such as Player Pack 5, and escalate to a level that is not only described as insane for the purpose of exaggerating in order to try and convey the ridiculousness of the difficulty, but also because the frustration felt when trying to work out solutions to each of these puzzles can also drive a man insane.

A variety of different balloons, a selection of darts with increasingly interesting and useful properties, and fifty levels of difficulty that isn't just insane because it sounds like a catchy title: the levels are tough, no matter which way you look at them.

If you haven't experienced the Bloons games before, then the above may not mean much to you but suffice it to say that we're dealing with a series that consists of puzzle games requiring you to take control of a monkey with various kinds of darts that is tasked with popping various types of balloons by throwing these darts at them. You use the mouse to aim the darts and left-click the mouse to fire them, holding on to the click until the on-screen arrow grows or shrinks to indicate the power of the shot. A simple idea in theory, but when you apply this very accessible format to a series of puzzles which actually start out at what most people would refer to as a "hard" difficulty and escalate from there, you have yourself one of the most fiendishly addictive and wildly challenging balloon popping games every to come out of the Ninjakiwi studios.

Bloons Tower Defense 5

The Bloons saga's double appearance on this list of Monkey Games is quite deliberate, not because they happen to be a well-known collection of games but because their quality earns them the right to be mentioned at least twice in any kind of article pertaining to monkey, puzzle, or generally high-quality games of any kind. Bloons Tower Defense 5 is of course based on the original Bloons series of straight-up puzzle games, only the format is significantly different as it takes the form of a tower defense masterpiece, with emphasis on the word masterpiece.

All of the Bloons Tower Defense games rely on the idea of placing various monkey-based or dart-based towers around a mixture of points on mazes that have a mixture of layouts. These towers have different properties but share the common property of being useful in some way for popping the waves of balloons that emerge into the maze, make their way around it, and then exit via one of the various points on the screen. The idea is to let as few balloons as possible escape the maze, if any at all, otherwise your lives will be lost and the level will end in embarrassing defeat (you would have just been beaten by a bunch of rubber orbs filled with air after all).

While the Bloons Tower Defense series is top-drawer tower defense entertainment from the first title to the very last, Bloons Tower Defense 5 has more content, challenges, and quality to offer than its predecessor Bloons Tower Defense 4 or any of the previous games for that matter. You've got an extreme difficulty added in, the addition of new bloon types such as the ZOMG and re-growth bloons, specialty buildings, and special abilities. All of the new content supplements the existing treasure trove of fun that comes with the series' massive selection of balloons types, tower types (sniper monkeys, multi-direction tack bombs etc.), and additional challenges, all combining to make for one of the most unique tower defense games you'll ever play.

Making Monkeys

Games of the platform genre are fairly common in flash game circles, but ones which are truly innovative are a little less easy to come by. Making Monkeys is one of the gems of the flash-based platform gaming world with style and finesse rarely seen in the genre. The theme is rather monkey heavy in the sense that you play as a monkey character that must find his way from his starting point on the screen to the star-bearing mug that sits in another location. Between you and the monkey are obstacles and various gaps as well as hazards such as spikes, all of which must be overcome by using only the WASD keys for movement, and the space bar/shift key to pick up the monkey gun that will form an integral part of the levels from a certain point onwards.

The physics, style, and substance are all present in this game, which is reminiscent of the Shaun the Sheep games in its design and generally polished appearance. This game bears artistic individuality and distinguishes itself from other standard flash-based games with simple-yet-effective gameplay, brilliant visuals, and great self-replicating monkey gun that fires copies of you into the air as a way to solve many of the problems contained within the game's 14 levels.

Monkey Kart

If you can stand the incessantly repetitive music and the outright silliness, Monkey Kart is a side-scrolling racing game that can provide quite a bit of light-hearted fun for a short period of time. You get to choose between a selection of different unlockable drivers and a number of different cups/levels in which you must try and make it to the end in first position. You also get special items every now and then which can help boost your performance somewhat, and in a manner that is quite similar to the classic Mario Kart games. This isn't going to be a life-changing, or even game-changing title, but it's one of the better-quality monkey-based racing games you'll find out there.

Monkey Go Happy Marathon 2

For a series that has so many titles to its name, Monkey GO Happy is still going strong and pumping out challenging and intriguing puzzle games on a regular basis. Monkey GO Happy Marathon 2 consists of a format that is almost identical to the other Monkey GO Happy Games in that you must solve a series of point-and-click puzzles, discovering items and using them in the correct way to go to the next area/level. This particular game consists of one puzzle after another in quick succession, but only after choosing your own monkey and placing one of a selection of wacky hats on him. The idea is to stop the monkey from being upset by solving a series of unrelated and eccentric puzzles in quick succession. This game is as good as any others in the series, but more intense because it's one puzzle after another with no overarching storyline or progression.