Monkeys in space. They have jetpacks, and they build things.
Well, that’s it, that’s the review folks, pack your things up. I mean honestly, who would need any more reasons to play this game?
*checks notes* Oh, my editor, apparently. (Editors Note: I’m sold, to be honest)
Developed by the folks at Studio Gauntlet and published by Crunching Koalas, Bonkies brings a very fun and lighthearted co-op building game, where we take the role of a jetpack-powered monkey astronaut travelling through the solar system, whether it’s by doing gymnastics exercises or repairing space stations one construct at a time, while also meeting all kinds of aliens and monkeys in the process.
This funny adventure involves elements from co-op games such as Overcooked or Moving Out and mixes them with Tetris mechanics, creating an atmosphere of tension and anxiety driving interactions between the players, without losing the fun of watching monkeys flying and trying to build the most ridiculously shaped constructions. Every planet we visit has a number of missions, which are also divided into stages, and each time we finish, we get more time added to the clock, and if we finish with the required extra time of each mission, we’re rewarded with bananas that unlock new Bonkies for co-op.
With hilarious dialogue and world details, and a variety of fun mechanics and pleasant physics, the sum of all these parts helps to build an absolutely delightful experience.
In order to succeed in these missions, our little characters count with the aid of a Robo-Arm, a tool that enables us to securely grab the building parts, and mixing the grabbing button with other ones maintains our Robo-arm fixed in a certain direction, helping to better stabilize whatever piece we’re handling at the moment. The Bonkies also have access to a jetpack that we can boost to lift heavyweight, but be careful since it runs out and we don’t want to lose altitude while having too much of a violent momentum. It’s by combining and mastering those two mechanics that we’ll succeed in our many different endeavours throughout the game.
Have to do the cooking by the book
We also get our hands (or hand) on several different construction components, most of them being just materials to build, but also we have some special ones that add some spice to the missions. We get floating cubes that can lift a certain amount of weight, glass pieces that will break if we don’t handle them carefully, and even blocks that will explode if we hold them for too long. With the later levels also showing numerous hazards such as lava or electrified floors, we need to adapt to a wide array of hazards and twists and cooperate if we want to overcome all of them.
With hilarious dialogue and world details, the wholesomeness of these hard-working monkeys, and a variety of fun mechanics and pleasant physics displayed in it, the sum of all these parts helps to build an absolutely delightful experience for us to enjoy. And as tense as the gameplay can be, we will enjoy as many cooperative building adventures as we can handle in a lighthearted space journey, full of Bonkies, bananas, and aliens.