If you aren’t already tired of seeing endless runners scattered around the App Store (and maybe even your device), then you should consider Banana Kong (out now, $0.99). You control a gorilla that is trying to escape an avalanche of bananas falling towards him. It might not make sense – a banana-loving animal running away from bananas – but you should get past that.
The gameplay is very familiar. Tap once to jump over obstacles and between levels, tap-and-hold to glide in the air, and swipe down to fall down a level. Simple controls are key to any arcade game, so Banana Kong gets a point here. You must also collect bananas throughout the game that tally to fill your power bar. When it’s full, you can ‘power dash’ through hard obstacles by simply swiping right.
The power dash is used to change scenery, too. The game features vines and caves for you to swing on and charge through, but if you power-dash through any of these, you enter new worlds. The vines take you above the forest where you jump across the treetops. The cave leads to a fiery underground world. The rules remain the same in both these places — run away from the avalanche of bananas, leap over obstacles, and swipe down to jump down a level.
Collecting bananas allows you to spend them in the store, where you can upgrade your power-ups (such as gliding longer, magnets to attract bananas, etc.). They add variety to the game so you aren’t stuck with just running and jumping, but they are ridiculously over-priced for the effect they have. It makes me think whether the developer is trying to lure you into buying more bananas via in-app purchases.
Adding to the unoriginality of the game, there are 3 achievements available at any one time for you to complete. You may have seen the achievement screen in many other endless runners (enter Jetpack Joyride and Subway Surfers). They are challenging and vary a lot, as they should do. No complaints here.
So far I haven’t explained anything unique or special. That’s because I can’t. I wish I could but Banana Kong doesn’t bring anything new to the table, leaving me unimpressed and reluctant to keep playing. There’s a big chance that you have already started playing an endless runner, be it Jetpack Joyride or Subway Surfers, so you’re currently focused on completing all of those achievements and maxing out your power-ups. For now though, Banana Kong remains as just another endless runner.
iFanzine Verdict: Banana Kong is a fun and well-made endless runner. It features colorful graphics, simple controls, and a variety of other gameplay elements that doesn’t leave you bored out of your mind. But it’s not unique. There’s nothing special about it that makes me recommend it to players who already play another endless runner (which I’m guessing is most of you). As for newcomers, if gorillas and bananas are your thing — check out Banana Kong. It’s good, but very similar to other titles for iOS.