I like bananas. They taste great and are great for you. What’s not to like? Well, don’t ask my wife that question, she hates bananas more than anything on this planet. But as much as I like bananas, if a sentient banana urged me to go on a murderous rampage in order to exact vengeance and rescue his family, I don’t think I’d do it. I don’t like bananas THAT much. Thankfully this isn’t a decision I need to make in real life, and instead I can live out this weird banana revenge fantasy through the safety of video games in DeadToast Entertainment and Devolver Digital’s My Friend Pedro: Ripe for Revenge.
If the name sounds familiar, that’s because My Friend Pedro launched on consoles and PC a couple of years ago, and is based off a Flash game from 2014. This mobile version isn’t a direct port, and features a more chibi art style and toned down visuals compared to the original, but its focus is still on flipping and spinning majestically through levels shooting darn-near every person you come into contact with. You are doing this at the behest of Pedro, a floating banana, and because Pedro is your friend, you’re cool with just murdering everyone around you all willy nilly. Despite its cutesy exterior, My Friend Pedro: Ripe for Revenge is freaking dark, man.
Darkness aside, the core gameplay is absolutely thrilling. This special mobile version uses a “drag your thumbs to create a trajectory arc to fling your character" system that, with a little practice, feels fantastic. My Friend Pedro is like a beautiful, violent ballet as you parkour your way through levels and tap on enemies to shoot them dead before they have a chance to shoot you first. Every level also has 3 stars to earn which is based on score, but the scoring system is a bit opaque. For now I’m just happy 2 starring levels and moving on, but I like that there’s that sometimes mysterious 3rd star to go back and earn if I’m ever feeling hardcore enough to maximize my score on a level.
That type of replay value is probably good as My Friend Pedro: Ripe for Revenge isn’t the longest or toughest game around if you’re just looking to play right through it. It is, however, one of the most satisfying games I’ve played in a while. Once you’re comfortable with the thumb controls and start nailing your jumps and shots with perfect execution, it almost feels like when you pull off a really cool combo in a Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater game. It’s a great feeling, and the whole concept works extremely well on a touchscreen. My Friend Pedro: Ripe for Revenge is free to try with a one-time premium unlock that’s just 3 bucks so there’s no reason not to try out this extremely bizarre and unique game for yourself. It’s available on both iOS and Android.