Banana Kong Review

By , on February 4, 2013

Banana Kong
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5


  • Bright and cheery visuals.
  • The treetop section is enjoyable.


  • Gameplay quite tedious, especially given how easy it is to hit into obstacles.
  • Name is kind of too close to a more popular and better made videogame property.


Another endless runner with a gorilla and banana theme. It does nothing really that new but might be enjoyable to some for a short period of time.

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Most gamers are familiar with the subtle changing of the name Donkey Kong to avoid copyright infringement from aping (if you'll pardon the pun) the famous movie about the giant gorilla and the woman that loved him. Banana Kong has a similar smell about it, trying to attach itself to a more popular property. However, while Donkey Kong could at least excuse itself with an innovative and engaging play experience, Banana Kong is just another endless runner clone built around in-app purchases. It's not entirely terrible however so let us explore further.

All apes love bananas, this is well known. It seems this gorilla's greed has gotten too much for his own good, as he must now outrun a banana pile that threatens to crush him under its sheer weight. More surprising is on this mad dash for freedom, you spend your time collecting bananas for use in the store. I guess old habits die hard. A tap on the screen will cause the ape to jump, a swipe down will send him to the platform below. While in the air, tapping and holding will deploy a parachute that can be used to collect more bananas and also clear larger gaps. During play the banana pile will start to creep up on you. Collecting twelve or so bananas will fill a dash meter that can be triggered with a swipe to the right. This not only doubles as a way to get rid of obstacles, but is the key to traveling to the mines and treetops.

Along the way you can ride toucans and receive a helping hand from giraffes and wild boars, but all this is fun distraction from a central running mechanic that is honestly quite frustrating. There are procedurally generated sections that you encounter as you travel, usually requiring you to avoid an obstacle, change platforms, or utilize the jump pads and your gliding. Some obstacles will slow you down, but most will end your run with an anti-climactic thwack. Especially when the game starts to speed up, it's far too easy to have a rolling boulder, falling stalagmite, or even a stationary rock spoil your experience, and the amount of times you find yourself restarting coupled with the shop really emphasize the grind this game was designed around.

I mean yes the visuals are pleasant enough, but amusing animals and lush backdrops can not replace engaging gameplay, and especially for those on endless runner burnout, Banana Kong really doesn't offer anything you can't get in a better example of the genre.


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