by Camrin Santchi
reviewed on PC
Party Hard, Go Bananas
Party games are a special type of genre, where almost any type of game can find a home, from trivia to minigames to board games. Enter Bonkies, a building and physics game that involves jetpacks, monkeys, giant robotic arm, poor business decisions, and bananas. Really, with a concept like that, who wouldn’t be intrigued?
Gamers take the role of astrochimps from the Bonkies corporation, who are paid in bananas and given high tech spacesuits equipped with jetpacks and given increasingly complex tasks involving filling in a puzzle of sorts by manipulating the specific tools at their disposal. These tools can be glass (Which breaks into increasingly smaller sections), anti-gravity blocks that float, and temperamental nuclear blocks which can cause a huge burst of energy when jostled too harshly, just to name a few.
Speaking of jostling, gamers will notice immediately that this is the wacky kind of party game, where progressing is certainly possible, but just having fun with it seems to be the intention, since even in singleplayer this reviewer found many opportunities that could be exploited for comedic effect in a group setting. Say hypothetically one impish (chimpish?) gamer wants to mess with the precisely balanced tower their friend has been building? It is all too easy to tip over, without even making use of the excessive force of setting off nuclear blocks or (my personal favorite) latching the robotic arm to the ground and holding the jetpack in the opposite direction. This causes the astrochimp to go flying at high speeds, temporarily out of the players control as the jetpack goes haywire.
The game is built like a party game, and as such the single player functions, but is clearly not the main focus of the game, since even the mode specified to be for single player seems to cut things rather close with only one astrochimp flying about the screen and trying to maneuver things into position. That being said, this reviewer is very interested in seeing synchronization between players that allow for entertaining gameplay and speedy solutions to even the most complicated puzzles, so long as they don’t get in each other’s ways or alternatively spend too much time high-fiving.
Monkey See, Monkey Do
Unfortunately, Bonkies is not without its flaws, and one of the most noticeable is the very concept. See, Bonkies is a couch co-op game, meaning that the multiplayer is only local, rather than being online. This is a holdover from originally being a PS4 game that was released during the Summer of 2020. Unfortunately, couch co-op games are much more of a console genre than one that is seen often on a PC. That isn’t to say that local co-op doesn’t exist on Steam, but generally when it comes to PC games they tend to shine when the multiplayer is online. But on the brighter side, this criticism is rather nitpicky so far as the actual game goes. The physics engine works and, while a challenge to adjust to, is not intentionally frustrating for the sake of wackiness, the music and art style are simple but very pleasant, and the game makes sure that players know it doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Planet of the Apes
In all, Bonkies is a very entertaining game to play even by yourself, but it is clearly meant to be a delight enjoyed among a group of up to four friends. With careful maneuvering gamers can accomplish great feats of construction worthy of bananas (and added characters, if every banana on a planet is earned by getting a good time), or alternatively a cheeky player could cause all that hard work to come tumbling down. This reviewer will even admit to a certain satisfaction in finding comical interactions even in single player, so co-op is sure to be quite the treat as well!
Entertaining party game, fun even in singleplayer
No online Co-Op