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Monkey Go Happy: The Castle – A point-and-click game of puzzlement and mystery solving, now with added storyline
Sad is the New Happy
The poor simians of the Monkey Go Happy games can never seem to catch a break. Whether it’s the monkey youngster, the aging ape, or the tiny toddler, they always seem to find themselves standing in front of a quirky puzzle on the verge of tears, prompting you as a player to solve them by using your mouse to manipulate the various objects on screen and using them to sort out whichever predicament may be causing all of the upset. Each game in the series has always consisted of a variety of levels with puzzles unrelated to each other, but Monkey Go happy: The Castle has moved on from the likes of Monkey Go Happy 5’s isolated, random puzzles of the unusual nature and has opted for a more structured approach with an overarching storyline. This time, an evil scientist has gone and kidnapped fifteen of the adorably upset monkeys, transforming them into flying gargoyles and leaving you to pick up the pieces, by solving the various interconnected puzzles and navigating your way through the mini-adventure.
Familiar and Fun
In practice, this instalment of the Monkey Go Happy series from Robin Vencel at Pencilkids.com is identical to the previous games, with the procedure being to work your way through a series of weird and wonderful puzzles by using your mouse to point and click on any objects on the screen you may find interesting; any object or item of interest that you find will likely have a purpose, and it is up to you to discover which of these items can be used to solve each puzzle. The puzzles range from the opening predicament that involves using a rock to smash the lock off a boat so that you can enter the castle, right the way through to exploring the castle grounds and working your way through the whole thing trying to find and rescue the fifteen mini-gargoyle monkeys that were unfairly transformed at the game’s outset. I hate using the phrase ‘standard procedure’, but I will in this case because of the fact that it really is the way things have always been done in the Monkey Go Happy series.
Easy on the Brain
That fact that the game now presents us with a mini explorative adventure as opposed to a series of discrete, unrelated puzzles is a step forward for the series, though the adventure itself is remarkable short. Point and click games are difficult to evaluate because by their very nature they are all fairly easy because you cannot help but notice the changing of the cursor as it rolls over an item of importance. The game is nonetheless a little bit of silly fun, and the fact that you get to choose your own monkey at the outset as well as the hat he wears adds to the unusual absurdity of it all. You aren’t going to be deeply challenged by this game, nor will it exercise your logical neurons in any kind of vigorous way, but it is a quirkily-illustrated and borderline adorable game that will kill up to fifteen minutes of your lunch break or otherwise empty afternoon.