Developed By: Studio Gauntlet 
Published By: Crunching Koalas
Categories: Co-Op, Puzzle
Release Date: 01.29.20

Is it really fair to judge a game that prides itself on being a cooperative experience for having a poor single player experience? When it outright gives you the option to play alone and has it’s own challenges for single player, I’d say.

Bonkies is a building game. You pick up blocks of a decent variety of shapes, consistencies, and weight, stack them, and pray to god that it stays balanced and won’t topple. Do it in a decent amount of time and you’ll be rewarded with a banana, get enough and you’ll get more monkeys to control. Control is a topic to discuss for Bonkies too. Initially, it comes off awkward. One side of the controller is moving the monkey, you get the left stick to move and L button to boost. The other side, the right side has you use R to grab items with the big mechanical arm, and the right stick or buttons to move said arm. You get used to it, but it does take getting used to. The game and I as a player suggest you just use the buttons instead of the right stick, just so the chance of moving the arm on accident to a different direction isn’t happening.

This starts out rather simple. First impression is an easy block stacker. It didn’t take long to get to frustrating stages. Each level has set of challenges. Stack for one, stack more for another, and then top it off. Alone, the last few challenges per stage are incredibly frustrating. Need to get this heavy block over your stack? Hope in your struggle, especially when trying to not overheat your jet you don’t just knock things over. Didn’t balance something just right? Well then enjoy having it all knocked down, ruining your effort and losing the banana time. Alone, to be frank, this game is a miserable, stressful time.

The game however, and it should be as it’s advertised as such, is fantastic with someone else. Caveat; there is no online. In a time where COVID-19 makes meeting up with friends a very unlikely or arduous task, this is really unfortunate. I have to appreciate keeping couch co-op alive, but it’s not exactly practical currently for many people to experience the game as it should be.

Getting that out of the way, with a friend the game can either go much, much smoother or even more awkward and chaotic. The difference this time is that you can enjoy the mess that happens with people and it quickly becomes a social game. It’s very apparent this is how the game should be played. I want to compare it to playing something like Mario Party by yourself. I’m sure you can find fun in it, but it truly shines with friends.

Everything not related to the gameplay is very standard. It is unfortunate not noteworthy. It gets the job done and is a good enough wrapper for the gooey insides that the gameplay are.

Bonkies at the end of the day is a mixed bag. You have a good co-op game…and a not so good single player game. I feel I’d have a higher opinion of the game if it had online play, but for what it is, as a couch co-op kind of game, it is rather enjoyable.

3/5

Buy Now: $14.99

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*Game Download Code supplied for review purposes