Nitako's Rasta Monkey [App Store] arrived in the App Store early this morning and we've since had a chance to sit down and play this interesting iPhone title.

The game is a 2D platformer in which you play a Rastafarian monkey. Your job is to swing through the branches to collect fruit and navigate obstacles. You control your monkey by way of the multi-touch screen. Pressing on the right or left sides of the screen provides you with movement, while holding down on both sides of the screen allows you to start swinging in a circle. Let go at the right moment, and you catapult yourself into the air. This swinging/jumping maneuver is central to the gameplay and you'll have a chance to practice it -- a lot.

Even in the weeks leading to its launch, this title was often compared to another iPhone swinging-platformer Sway. After playing both of the games, the comparisons become even more pronounced. The early play (and frustrations) of the games do feel similar. You'll find yourself falling -- a lot. You'll also find yourself trying the same segment over and over until you make it through. The game controls and overall feel, however, are quite different.

Rasta Monkey is a relatively simpler affair in both graphics and gameplay. The game comes with only 10 levels of progressive difficulty, and the first few levels are rather short and easy. The most challenging portions of the game come primarily from the aiming and timing of your launching abilities. Thankfully, checkpoints are frequent, but there can be a level a high level of repetition and frustration to these portions of the game. And it wasn't until the last few levels that we saw some fun and interesting level design elements that we wished we'd seen sooner.

At only $1.99, it's hard to be too critical of the game and many of our forum users seem very happy with their purchase. The gameplay, however, simply didn't capture us enough to make us feel that this is a "must have" title even at this price.

The developers do provide a web demo (click on Play tab) if you have the Unity web plug-in installed. The demo provides a reasonably accurate taste of the early levels with keyboard controls.


[ Full HD version | Low Bandwidth version ]

App Store Link: Rasta Monkey, $1.99

TouchArcade Rating

  • Jim

    They'll have to another game to write the next stimulus bill.

  • Jim

    They'll have to another game to write the next stimulus bill.

  • http://www.alex-hardy.co.uk Alex

    I noticed that the graphics look quite low-quality, almost JPEG-y.

    Anyone else seen this?

  • http://www.alex-hardy.co.uk Alex

    I noticed that the graphics look quite low-quality, almost JPEG-y.

    Anyone else seen this?

  • Inferi22

    Really this is definitely a must have it is as fun as sway as polished as sway more challenging than sway and half the price of sway y wouldn't you buy it

  • Inferi22

    Really this is definitely a must have it is as fun as sway as polished as sway more challenging than sway and half the price of sway y wouldn't you buy it

  • Moggy Lloyd

    I think TA has been a bit harsh on Rasta Monkey here. No, it's not the most polished or in-depth game which is ever going to be released in the App Store. But it's got a real feelgood fun factor about it - which I think is worth buying it for alone.

  • Moggy Lloyd

    I think TA has been a bit harsh on Rasta Monkey here. No, it's not the most polished or in-depth game which is ever going to be released in the App Store. But it's got a real feelgood fun factor about it - which I think is worth buying it for alone.

  • http://www.alex-hardy.co.uk Alex

    @Inferi22 "...it is as fun as sway as polished as sway..."

    Uh, no. It *really* isn't :)

    Hopefully they can polish it with updates.

  • http://www.alex-hardy.co.uk Alex

    @Inferi22 "...it is as fun as sway as polished as sway..."

    Uh, no. It *really* isn't :)

    Hopefully they can polish it with updates.

  • spiffyone

    Rasta Monkey and Sway are "remarkably similar"? Yeah, sure...the same way that Super Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog platform games are similar...which is to say that other than the fact that they are of the same genre, the feel of the games is not all that similar, nor is the game design itself.

    Yes, both involve "swinging". But the level design in Rasta Monkey is connected to momentum rather than the obstacle laden levels in Sway which slows down the momentum that is mostly wholly player created. That is to say that in Sway the momentum generated is done because the player/character initiates it, and the level design is focused on slowing that momentum down. In Rasta Monkey, however, it seems to be the exact opposite. The level design seems to be focused on speeding up your momentum, causing a more action reflex reaction to gameplay. In Sway, it's about the timing of your swings, in Rasta Monkey, the timing of your launches and falls (or, rather, how you deal with the launches and falls).

    Pretty different design focus/philosophy, similar to how the Mario and Sonic platformers, despite being in the same genre (platformers) and therefore focused on the same things (platforming; jumps) go about it in very different ways.

  • spiffyone

    Rasta Monkey and Sway are "remarkably similar"? Yeah, sure...the same way that Super Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog platform games are similar...which is to say that other than the fact that they are of the same genre, the feel of the games is not all that similar, nor is the game design itself.

    Yes, both involve "swinging". But the level design in Rasta Monkey is connected to momentum rather than the obstacle laden levels in Sway which slows down the momentum that is mostly wholly player created. That is to say that in Sway the momentum generated is done because the player/character initiates it, and the level design is focused on slowing that momentum down. In Rasta Monkey, however, it seems to be the exact opposite. The level design seems to be focused on speeding up your momentum, causing a more action reflex reaction to gameplay. In Sway, it's about the timing of your swings, in Rasta Monkey, the timing of your launches and falls (or, rather, how you deal with the launches and falls).

    Pretty different design focus/philosophy, similar to how the Mario and Sonic platformers, despite being in the same genre (platformers) and therefore focused on the same things (platforming; jumps) go about it in very different ways.

  • Tongo

    Ok, is this better or worse than Protestant Marmoset?

  • Tongo

    Ok, is this better or worse than Protestant Marmoset?

  • Man of Mystery

    holy cow these are some of the worst graphics i've seen

    i mean really o_O i'd be ashamed to release something like this

    looks like they saved it as a really low quality jpeg and then took a picture of it on an old digital camera and cropped out the part they wanted from the pic

  • Man of Mystery

    holy cow these are some of the worst graphics i've seen

    i mean really o_O i'd be ashamed to release something like this

    looks like they saved it as a really low quality jpeg and then took a picture of it on an old digital camera and cropped out the part they wanted from the pic

  • paulie

    RACIST! How about 'Muslim Piggy" next? Or maybe "Jewish Cockroach"?

  • paulie

    RACIST! How about 'Muslim Piggy" next? Or maybe "Jewish Cockroach"?

  • Dudehuge

    stfu paulie

    stfu Man of Mystery, you're clearly blind

    Nice Audio, but the game could have been more polished. But for 1.99 beggars can;t be choosers.

  • Dudehuge

    stfu paulie

    stfu Man of Mystery, you're clearly blind

    Nice Audio, but the game could have been more polished. But for 1.99 beggars can;t be choosers.

  • rich_952000

    I think Rasta Monkey is a real good, absolutely fun and unique platformer.

    @spiffyone, as always, very nicely said!

    If you are complaining about "these graphics aren't the best" then you are on the wrong platform! Go spend 3 grand on an Alienware computer, there you'll find top notch graphics with every 60 dollar game you buy.

    RM's graphics are crisp and clean, dare I say the best, smoothest I've encountered in a game using the Unity engine, which is notorious for slow, choppy graphics.

    Nitako, thanks for making Rasta Monkey everything I hoped for, and the promise of more lvls, awesome!

  • rich_952000

    I think Rasta Monkey is a real good, absolutely fun and unique platformer.

    @spiffyone, as always, very nicely said!

    If you are complaining about "these graphics aren't the best" then you are on the wrong platform! Go spend 3 grand on an Alienware computer, there you'll find top notch graphics with every 60 dollar game you buy.

    RM's graphics are crisp and clean, dare I say the best, smoothest I've encountered in a game using the Unity engine, which is notorious for slow, choppy graphics.

    Nitako, thanks for making Rasta Monkey everything I hoped for, and the promise of more lvls, awesome!

  • http://www.loveslikesmoke.com Corey

    I have to agree... the graphics look a bit grainy/lossy. I don't know what happened, but I was expecting something as crisp as Rolando with the elements of Sway.

    The controls are a bit funky and take some getting used to, but I'm sure with a couple of updates it'll be improved.

    I must insist that they look at their image compression or probably go the route of simplifying some of the details that they have in the visual elements... they're too small to notice, so they look like jpeg artifacts.

  • http://www.loveslikesmoke.com Corey

    I have to agree... the graphics look a bit grainy/lossy. I don't know what happened, but I was expecting something as crisp as Rolando with the elements of Sway.

    The controls are a bit funky and take some getting used to, but I'm sure with a couple of updates it'll be improved.

    I must insist that they look at their image compression or probably go the route of simplifying some of the details that they have in the visual elements... they're too small to notice, so they look like jpeg artifacts.

  • dunkee

    arn just hates all swinging game, he doesn't like Sway's control too. Maybe it's better to give a review 1 hour after mastering the control, as that's when you can finally enjoy the game and neutrally give the review without the frustration factor.

    • arn

      I really loved Sway. I thought Sway was a bit short in its initial version, but so did everyone else.

      arn

  • http://deleted dunkee

    arn just hates all swinging game, he doesn't like Sway's control too. Maybe it's better to give a review 1 hour after mastering the control, as that's when you can finally enjoy the game and neutrally give the review without the frustration factor.

    • arn

      I really loved Sway. I thought Sway was a bit short in its initial version, but so did everyone else.

      arn

  • http://DigitalArtPrintGallery.com Mike Darnell

    I dunno what all the fuss is about.
    I realize this is kind of an old post but I happen to like Rasta Monkey so seeing people diss it like this kinda annoyed me. The game is fun and engaging - well worth what I spent on it. I'm happy with it and I'd recommend it if anyone asked me.

    : )
    @pop_art
    Mike

  • http://DigitalArtPrintGallery.com Mike Darnell

    I dunno what all the fuss is about.
    I realize this is kind of an old post but I happen to like Rasta Monkey so seeing people diss it like this kinda annoyed me. The game is fun and engaging - well worth what I spent on it. I'm happy with it and I'd recommend it if anyone asked me.

    : )
    @pop_art
    Mike

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  • LMA

    Doesn't anyone find this game horribly racist?

    • rich_952000

      My god, if that's the case then all games portraying a white dude in a cowboy hat are too....get a friggin life dude.

  • LMA

    Doesn't anyone find this game horribly racist?

    • rich_952000

      My god, if that's the case then all games portraying a white dude in a cowboy hat are too....get a friggin life dude.