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iPhone  header logo

Banana Kong

For: iPhone   Also on: iPad

Going bananas

Product: Banana Kong | Publisher: FDG Entertainment | Format: iPhone | Genre: Endless running | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version:  1.1.1
 
Banana Kong iPhone, thumbnail 1
When Nintendo created Donkey Kong, it unwittingly became involved in a lawsuit with Universal Studios, which was less than impressed with the game's similarity to its movie King Kong. Nintendo won that case in the end, which makes the developer behind Banana Kong either very brave or totally ignorant of past events.

Whatever the reason, Banana Kong shares more than just part of its name with Nintendo's famous simian-starring video game series. Although it's ostensibly an endless-runner in the mould of Jetpack Joyride and Temple Run, it's positively dripping in references to Donkey Kong Country - the best-selling Rare-coded reboot of the Donkey Kong franchise.

Monkey business

The Kong in this game is just as obsessed with bananas as the one in Nintendo's series - so much so that his massive stockpile of yellow fruit is becoming a hazard. It topples over, causing a banana avalanche that Kong needs to outrun, thereby triggering the endless running which is the focus of the game.

Kong sprints automatically, with a tap causing him to jump in the air. Holding your finger down allows Kong to float a short distance, while swiping to the right unleashes a devastating shoulder charge that smashes through obstacles blocking the path.

Colliding with one of these objects - or falling foul of other hazards, such as vast pools of water - brings Kong's dash to an end.

IAP explained
You can pick up 2,500 bananas for 69p, or 50,000 for £5.49. It takes quite a while to unlock and upgrade all of the items in Banana Kong, which makes these deals hard to resist.

It's worth spending a little cash to speed things up a bit if you're struggling, but given the slightly repetitive nature of the gameplay, you're unlikely to return once everything is unlocked - so spend wisely.
Despite bananas causing Kong so much trouble, he still can't keep his hands off them. Along the way you can pick up more fruit with which to buy power-up items and utilities from the in-game shop.

Some of the better items require a lot of bananas, so it should come as no great surprise to learn that you can purchase more using real money via an IAP system.

Fruit frenzy

Banana Kong's presentation is excellent throughout, with an attractive 2D art style that apes (pun absolutely intended) the look of the aforementioned Donkey Kong Country. Kong's expressions are priceless, and practically worth the purchase price alone.

The core gameplay is equally agreeable, although it's hard to fight the feeling that we've seen this all before. Banana Kong doesn't really do anything especially new or inventive, and as a result it doesn't take long for the appeal of those charming visuals to wane and for repetition to set in.

If you can't get enough of the endless-runner genre then Banana Kong is sure to hit the spot, but if you're looking for something fresh and new, it's a not quite as essential.
 
Banana Kong
Reviewer photo
Damien McFerran | 19 February 2013
This good-looking homage to the Donkey Kong is a fine addition to the endless-runner genre, but don't go expecting any daring innovation to accompany those lush graphics
 
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