Baby Monkey (Going Backwards on a Pig) Review: All is Right in the World

Internet memes. They’re everywhere now, popping up by the second. One moment you see a turtle humping the crap out of a shoe, quickly followed by a man playing WoW and running to his death while screaming his name. The fact is, the mainstream media is saturated with them now as we have no less than half a dozen cable shows dedicated to showing these so-called “viral videos” on television. (They have to keep cable programming relevant somehow right?) Well the team over at Kihon Games decided to combine one of these adorable time-wasting videos with another form of media, adorable time-wasting iOS games. The marriage of these two forms of entertainment is called Baby Monkey (Going Backwards on a Pig), and to put it plainly, the game rocks!

Yep, that's exactly what it is.

Ride the piggy!

The basis for Baby Monkey comes from a music video by Parry Gripp of, you guessed it, a baby monkey going backwards on a pig. The song that accompanies the video is hilarious and once it gets into your head it will NEVER leave again. So let’s do the math here. We have an addictive silly song, two different species of baby animals interacting in unusual ways, and a newly formed game development company in Tuscon that wants to take a game from concept to being approved by the gatekeepers at Apple in a month’s time. This sounds like a recipe for world-domination if there ever was one.

What does it all mean?

Here’s how the end result works. You control both the monkey and the pig it is riding, each with their own jump buttons, while the pig runs to the right and the monkey hangs on for dear life. The goal of the game is simple: run as far to the right as possible while dodging obstacles and grabbing bananas for points. The game feels like a perfect mashup between Canabalt and Tiny Wings. The graphics are cute and the difficulty falls under the “easy to learn, difficult to master” banner. I thought I would need to turn the sound on my iPhone off after playing for a while, but instead found myself turning the volume up to get me into the zone while I dodged cacti, orange traffic barrels, and steaming piles of crap, as these are all adverse to the rightward progress of said primate/swine teamwork. For the achievement hungry, Baby Monkey is full of Game Center achievements ranging from the easily obtained by n00bz to, “I don’t even think the developers have ever gotten this far and does the game really exist past that point” levels of difficulty.

Baby Monkey

No room on this pig for that hamster

I think my only real qualm with this game is that the play is supposedly divided up into different zones, but while playing you never really get the feeling that you’ve gone from one zone to the next. The only thing that changes to let you know are the types of obstacles you’re dodging. There’s a missed opportunity in giving the gamer the feeling of satisfaction every time a zone is completed, and I think that could be applied here to really round out an excellent concept.

Has anyone seen my pig?

Congrats to the guys at Kihon Games for successfully building Baby Monkey in a month and doing a fantastic job. It’s a ton of fun to play and totally worth the $0.99 it’ll set you back on the app store. Now after all of this I writing, I need to go beat my high score.


Kihon Games (images)