Tiki Towers 2: Monkey Republic review

Tiki Towers 2: Monkey Republic review

Apr 14, 2011

Developer: GameHouse
Price: US$2.99
Version: 1.2.0
App Reviewed on: Motorola Droid X

Tiki Towers 2: Monkey Republic could have been a really fun game. It’s a bridge/tower/structure building game where you’re trying to help monkeys reach a certain point on each level. Along the way, you collect all the bananas, use the fewest number of pieces possible, and voila, you’ve won the game. Unfortunately, it suffers from a number of critical flaws that really suck the fun right out of it.

First among the most egregious of problems is the unresponsive control scheme. Here’s a typical scenario: I’m trying to scroll the screen so I can see where I need to put the next building piece, except the game thinks I’m trying to insert a bridge piece and acts accordingly. I delete the piece added by mistake and try scrolling the screen again, except, this time, it’s not responding at all. I tap all over the screen, trying to find a spot where I can get it to scroll. This happens again and again until it finally works. Mission accomplished, or so I assume.

I complete the structure and turn the monkeys loose. They screech and hoot and jump all over the place, tearing the structure apart until it crumbles into nothing and I fail to pass the level. So, I rebuild, unleash hell and watch the monkeys either become confused or fall to their deaths, again. At this point, I gently place my phone down on the desk and invoke the healing powers of “Scream Therapy.”

When Tiki Towers 2 is on, it’s really on. The well-designed characters and wild antics of the monkeys are cute and funny. You really get into the game and have a great time. Then you just hit a little snag here and there, like, where did the sound go? Why can’t I erase these pieces? Why did the monkey go off in THAT direction? The banana is RIGHT THERE, just grab it! Why are you monkeys so stupid? WHY?

Strangely enough, I can see how the monkeys jumping around and ripping your hard work to shreds could be considered an extra challenge, and not just a cruel joke. That is, until after redesigning a tower 3 or 4 times, running out of pieces and gently weeping as I realize, I’m going to have to rethink the entire plan. Sometimes, though, the game just works. The structure survives, the monkeys get their bananas and I can move on.

Tiki Towers 2 offers 30 levels of physics and monkeys. You’ll find challenges galore, items to help you on your way and levels with multiple solutions leading to branching paths on your way to the end of the game. It’s a “World of Goo” clone that, in the end, just makes me wish I were playing “World of Goo” instead. If you have enough patience to see past the flaws and embrace the extra challenges, you might have a lot of fun. As for me, I found little to enjoy as I worked my way through the game.

Tiki Towers 2: Monkey Republic review Rundown

Graphics/Sound - Wildly animated, fun graphics. The music is great, added a lot to the theme and kept the game entertaining. Unfortunately, there seems to be a few bugs in the sound department as the music routinely cut out halfway through a level.
Controls - In a word: Terrible. Placing the bridge points was difficult, especially when you can't see the piece because it's under your finger. There's no simple way to edit a structure. Even just scrolling around the play area was spotty. Sometimes, you couldn't move the screen at all.
Gameplay - It's "World of Goo" with monkeys. That's a great idea until the monkeys jump all over your bridge and tear it apart, leaving you with no solution to a puzzle. I guess that passes as "fun" for some people.
Replay Value - If you can tolerate the problems, there's a lot of fun here, somewhere. You have plenty of levels to solve and trying to get all the bananas using as few bridge pieces as possible makes you want to come back and keep trying. Although, I was quite happy not to.
Overall - Trying to build a tower with annoying, difficult controls is one thing. Watching monkeys destroy an already shaky structure is another. In the end, this was a neat idea that could have been fun, but fell flat thanks to a number of problems.

App available on the Google Play Store »

Dale Culp
Dale Culp has been writing about video games in print and on the web for the better part of the last 10 years. From the Atari 2600 to the Xbox 360 and beyond, he's covered just about everything. You'll find his work in places such as TheWeekender.com, GoLackawanna.com, Gamesylvania.com, EscapistMagazine.com and even IGN.com
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