Review: Chimpact - it's not as compulsive as Angry Birds but you'll love monkeying around on this touchscreen game

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It's winter. I'm grumpy. I'm cold. But I'm flinging my monkey around and smiling

With just one finger your mission is to flick a monkey through the jungle, collecting bananas and gems along the way. It's that simple.

The first mode is Gem Quest - as you unlock gems you unlock further levels to flick Chuck the Chimp (and later, other monkeys) through the lush visual environments. Evil jungle animals dance while the flowers wiggle in the breeze as your chimp zooms past them. It's a beautiful world with plenty of flair. However the diamonds aren't always in easy view and there are multiple branches to the levels as you progress. Each level also has five hidden diamonds, which adds to the complexity. Totem Trial pits your skills against a series of challenges, which are either objective based or time-constrained. Each mode has three worlds with twelve levels. Flick, diamond, banana, win.

I'll admit that I'm a sucker for monkeys. Ever since Donkey Kong I've been somewhat in love with the small furry chimps. So I had a lot of fun with Chuck through the 48 levels I had to explore, bopping along to the music and glorious screen (I play tested this on Microsoft's new Surface tablet). But the issue is that sure, you gradually come across new obstacles such as spiders covered in spikes who want to steal your bananas, but it's hard to keep interest in the same way that games like Angry Birds can. There's not enough oomph behind the jungle, so to speak.

You can, like a lot of games now, buy items or even whole levels for a price. These aren't too obtrusive (you can unlock everything without paying after all) but it's a shame. I imagine that it's more for the impatient (and rich) than for everyone else.

I found myself playing Chimpact more and more on the tube. It's winter. I'm grumpy. I'm cold. But I'm flinging my monkey around and smiling. It might not be a classic, but it's a great game for those short bites of fun. The level design is short, but with enough hidden elements that it's worth multiple run-throughs. I was quite fond of Chuck and his family by the end. If you have a Surface tablet it's definitely worth checking out and it's available for iPhones and iPads as well.

Odd really, the mobile gaming sphere. I guess no one ever expected a game called Angry Birds, about flinging birds at pigs, to sell well, or be captivating. That sphere has grown a lot since then, though. Chimpact is a great example of simple gaming done well, though I wish there was more flavour to it. A bit more bite.


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