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Developer: Rock Solid Games
What do you get when you mix old-school platform hopping with...well...old-school platform hopping? You get the former and the latter. Darwin the Monkey doesn’t combine a lot of different elements from any other genre than a single-screen platform adventure per-level. This creates for a generic gameplay experience to say the least.
That doesn’t mean, however, that the game isn’t fun, to an extent. It just means that it gets repetitive rather quickly. But let’s back it up a bit and explain what this game is about and what you actually have to do. The story is pretty simple; some evil frogs are taking fruit (especially bananas) and it’s up to Darwin the Monkey to retrieve the bananas from the evil frogs. This sets up players to take Darwin through 30 different stages featuring multiple modes of play.
The control scheme is pretty generic, allowing players to use either the mouse or the keyboard, which is pretty convenient. Gamers move Darwin around and jump about in the static, single-screen, non-scrolling stages. The object of collecting fruit, stage after stage, could have been fun if it wasn’t such a repetitive process. Heck, mentioning the word repeat and repetitive reminds me of Darwin already.
Alternate play modes consists of minor changes in the game’s main objectives. For instance, instead of having to collect bananas in the stage players may have to retrieve a particular fruit to end the stage. Also, to mix things up there’s bonus rounds that include collecting falling coins from an air-balloon. Nevertheless, this doesn't stop the game from being boring after the first five or six stages. The boss fights redeem some element of excitement, but they play out as if they were on auto-pilot, primarily leaving the player to simply dodge bombs rather than engage in any sort of skillful activity.
But the rich graphics wouldn’t have meant much if it wasn’t coupled with some amazing music. In all honesty, if there’s one reason to play this game it’s to hear the Deep Forest-esque music tracks that accompany the game’s exotic look. Pedro Camacho did an amazing job with the game’s music. I just wish the stages offered up a bit more than what they were, to really make everything meld in greater significance.
Overall, Darwin the Monkey is a run-of-the-mill platform title that carries heavily appealing aesthetics, but goes a little light on the gameplay variety. If you’re really looking for a good, casual platform title, you do better checking out Turtix or Snaky Jake. I really wish this game had a bit more than what it did, but if you’re looking for a simple game for the little kids, then Darwin the Monkey wouldn’t be bad a way to.