|System: DS, Wii, PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: WarForward Technologies||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Brash Entertainment||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: July 15, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Cole Smith
Based on the movie of the same name, Space Chimps for the DS is not nearly as disappointing as the average movie tie-in cash-grab game. Space Chimps is a decent game that could possibly stand-alone without support from the movie.
It's not destined to be a blockbuster, but it's a nice package that features good production values. There are some repetitive gameplay elements in addition to some mechanical flaws, but aside from some moments of frustration, the game is largely enjoyable. Space Chimps is an old-school platformer, incorporating the basic elements of the genre. The gameplay is not always fresh and unpredictable. Although the levels do change, there isn't a lot of variety to break things up. Don't expect any groundbreaking features. What the game does offer is cohesion, consistency, and comedy. It's lighthearted and whimsical, and is aimed primarily at kids - and the kid in all of us that secretly enjoyed the animated movie. Hardcore gamers need not apply. This game will just make a monkey out of you.
Space Chimps, the game, takes obvious liberties with the storyline, using it as a premise from which to launch the various gameplay elements that include platform jumping, puzzle solving, collecting, combat, and flying. In the movie, as in real life, monkeys are exploited by NASA for various space flight experiments. But the monkeys in the movie and this game are more intelligent than the average game reviewer.
To search for the Infinity Space Probe that mysteriously disappeared into a wormhole, three monkeys are blasted into space to embark on the mission. The trio is led by the rather large and imposing commander Titan and rounded out by the lead protagonist, Ham the Third and the lovely Luna. Ham 3 is the typical, young, good-natured hero with an exuberance and curiosity that kids can relate to. He's also a former circus performer, and that gives him some serious moves. Luna is his love interest and also has a background in acrobatics. You can toggle between them in the game or combine them in the mini-game multi-player mode. The team crash lands on a strange planet where they are compelled to help the inhabitants escape from the clutches of an evil, overbearing king.