Review by Chris
In an earlier review, I wrote about the genre of running games, which has cropped up in the App Store. Given how seemingly ubiquitous this type of game has become on the iOS, I suppose I should give it a proper address. Today, we’ll look at Banana Kong and Chain Breaker, two games that approach the runner genre from different angles, but pull off their respective deliveries well.
Both games take a cartoony approach to their art style (one with a jungle theme and one with a medieval theme) and both have the player run constantly in one direction, collecting crap (bananas or cow coins, depending on your choice of game) and avoiding obstacles, cliffs, dragons, crocs (or were the alligators? DAMMIT, why are they two separate species!) and both have you play in an arcade survival style.
Just writing that last paragraph killed me a little. If there is anything that will make me cave and shell out a few more dollars to buy Bastion, or re-download Revolution 60, its describing how arcade runners work. My bitterness aside, though, these are amusing games. If you are looking for a casual reflex tester, you can’t really go wrong with either. The main difference between the two is what you find yourself doing during gameplay. In Banana Kong, you play a gorilla (not Donkey Kong) that is trying to outrun an avalanche of bananas. You do so by jumping, dropping, rolling and dodging obstacles, as well as powering up your dash meter (which is done by collecting…bananas…). This is a game where you are constantly moving your character around, and dodging whatever the world’s most needlessly dangerous jungle can throw at you. Chain Breaker, by contrast, has you play as a knight whose king has ordered him (or her, I guess– he/she is a full plate suit) to rescue the…royal cow? Well, it’s a cow. And the king seems very fond of it. Come to think of it, I never saw a queen anywhere, and now this review took a turn somewhere a lot more interesting. OK, this paragraph is a lost cause.
The knight him/herself never moves, safe for the constantly running, so it’s up to you to manipulate the environment and enemies to clear a path for him/her. You can do this by breaking chains (HOLY CRAP! THE TITLE!) that are holding up planks of wood, taking out support beams, luring enemies to their doom, and generally plotting the optimal path for our hero.
OK, that aside, bananas and…cow coins can both purchase in-game powerups. Though the advantage has to go to Banana Kong in this regard, as you can also use bananas to buy hats and parachutes (that sexy-ass witch cap isn’t a default costume, so you know. And, of course, if you want to get more in-game currency faster, you can (insert microtransaction crap here).So, they’re both fun. They’re both free. Which did I like better? Banana Kong. Yeah that’s right, screw literary pacing. I’m just going to come out and say it. I liked Banana Kong more, I end sentences with prepositions AND I THINK THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK IS OVERRATED! Take that, internet people.