Gameplay in Monkey Wall is exclusively played on the Nintendo Switch handheld mode. It can’t be played on the TV. The game uses touch-screen only and no button prompts or presses are needed.
Monkey See, Monkey Do!
Once the game loads up, there’s only one main mode to play which is an endless runner with slight difference.
Your monkey runs in a straight line, however, there are gates in your way, each with different openings. You need to tap on the grid located in the bottom right hand corner, so the shape you tap should be the same as the shape on the gate. If you’re successful, your monkey will leap through.
The quicker you tap the shape, the more stars you will receive for that gate – 3 being the best score. Each successful opening your monkey fits through fills up your star gauge which is located just above the grid you’ll be tapping. Once it fills up, you can get through one gate without inputting or tapping any shape.
For every 15 gates, you are also rewarded with an extra heart. You will be treated to a slow-mo moment where your monkey performs a move automatically to get through a gate, and game then continues as normal. However, if you fail to tap the right shape, your monkey will slam into a wall and heart will be removed.
Also, underneath your star bar, white rabbits will appear, which speed up the game every time you fail. The only way to remove them is by tapping the correct shape. With each successful gate passed, the speed will return to normal.
Mixing it up!
To change up the formula, the little grid that you use to tap shapes on looks very similar to the gates your monkey passes through.
The grid starts to tilt and change its orientation, making it challenging to quickly input the right shape to match the one at the gate. The orientation of the grid might be upside down and requires good spatial awareness which can make inputting the right shape difficult if you are looking at it from a different angle. This spices up gameplay and it can get pretty tricky when hitting double digits.
To help this, somewhat, the grid that you tap has the same design as the gates’, including the little roof to show you the right orientation when the grid is in neutral position. As you progress, this neutral position will change by spinning around on its axis. It sounds a lot harder than it actual is, but it works and works well.
Tapping is responsive and easy to learn, but difficult to master, as you’re required to tap a full shape in instead of filling one box.
If you do lose, then your score will be displayed on a top 3 leaderboard on the main menu. Sadly, these are local only which is a bit of a shame, since the game is so cheap and I can’t complain too much.
While these monkeys aren’t in balls, they do come with quite a few costumes. There are 4 characters to choose from: ape, bush baby, lemur, and bamboo. Each have multiple costumes you can select and there is a total of 16 costumes to pick from. Some of these look quite familiar. Like the Goku costume for the bush-baby, and, if not mistaken, lemur has a Sagat costume from Street Fighter.
Costumes add little cosmetic changes for each character which I liked a lot, and also, each character has little changes in their level design, like the lemur whose level is snow-themed. Each of the 4 characters has their own music which is a nice, little detail.
It’s All Good!
It’s a great little title to play for a couple of minutes on a bus or if you’re in a waiting room. Monkey Wall can be picked up and played for few minutes at a time to try and reach a higher score. I found it quite addicting.
Touch screen controls work great and I like the overall presentation.
Music has a decent beat to and it’s quite nice to listen to while playing. Each of the 4 tracks are so different from each other and is easy on the ears. These jungle, Kung-Fu tunes keep you focussed on the task at hand. The sound effects are good too and I thought the overall quality was good.
Visuals & Performance
I really like the presentation; it’s colourful and has a very voxel boxy style to it which I like. Each character has multiple costumes which gives a little nod to some of the famous ninjas or characters which are a nice addition.
Monkey Wall runs perfect and I haven’t experienced any issues in that department. Its menu is clear and easy to use. Touch-screen functionality works fantastic!
Its Switch icon leaves a lot be desired. It shows a monkey flying through one of the gates, however, there’s no logo and it looks a little drab which is a shame. Maybe an update could fix that?
The game supports screenshots and video capture.
For a small price point, you’re getting a pretty enjoyable time waster, and I think it’s a positive that it requires just the handheld mode on the Switch, as it’s responsive and works great. It’s perfect for a quick burst session to score the highest score possible!
Lot’s of costumes – some look very familiar
Pick-up and play gameplay
Handheld mode only
No online leaderboards