Games for the Weekend is a weekly feature aimed at helping you avoid doing something constructive with your downtime. Each Friday we’ll be recommending a game for Mac, iPhone or iPad that we think is awesome. Here is one cool enough to keep you busy during this weekend.
Banana Kong ($0.99 Universal) is a side-scrolling runner that will drive you, well, bananas. The irony in the game is that the one thing that will kill you is the same thing you desire most: bananas!
There are just two basic controls that you need to use in the game. Simply tap to jump up and swipe down to jump down to a lower platform. As you run further and further, you learn how to use these two basic controls to avoid obstacles, jump from vine to vine, and even bounce off the occasional spring flower. Some of the platforms like rickety old bridges will fall out from under you. While others offer you no support at all like long pools of water. Knowing when to run and when to jump is really what the game is all about.
It starts out with a huge avalanche of bananas towering over you. Going against your primal instinct to head towards the bananas to gather food, your survival instinct kicks in and you instead run away from the killer flood of bananas. As you make your desperate escape, along the way there are multiple obstacles that will get in your way and ultimately slow you down. Crashed planes, huge boulders, rolling logs, impassable walls and the occasional spider web — your typical overgrown jungle sort of obstacles. Slow down too much and the banana stampede will catch up with you.
As you are running, you will see a whole bunch of bananas that do not pose a threat to your life. The goal is to collect as many of these bananas as possible. Snag one of the rare rainbow bananas and you will score big. These bananas are used as an in-app currency to purchase power ups in the jungle shop. Some power ups will stay with you throughout the game like the Magnet, which will attract the bananas towards you as you run (the good bananas of course). Other power up utilities will only last once on your next run, like the water bounce ability. This will allow you to skip across the water rather than sink; a good ability to have if you the find the water hazards in the game are too difficult to avoid.
The most useful power ups are probably the parachutes. For a jumping gorilla that can climb high into the treetops, a parachute is a good thing to have. Each time you jump you can use a parachute to glide across the jungle by tapping and holding your finger on the screen. However, how far you glide is not controlled by how long you hold on to the screen, rather how good your chute is. The better the parachute, the longer the glide. You can choose from cheetah furs, treasure maps, even pirate flags and angel wings. Upgrading to a better parachute will definitely help you go farther on each run.
There are goals you need to achieve as you scurry through the jungle. Some goals are there help you learn how to survive. For instance, there is a whole series of goals centered around using the special ability known as the power dash. The power dash is an ability that you need to constantly keep charged. As you collect bananas you recharge the gorilla’s power dash ability. To use power dash you swipe your finger across the screen from left to right. When used, you can smash through obstacles and more importantly speed ahead of the bananas that are chasing you.
There are in-app purchases where you can buy — what else — more bananas! It is easy enough to earn enough bananas early enough to upgrade your parachute and send you sailing through one successful run after another. The temptation to buy bananas for your gorilla is just that, a temptation, not a necessity.