Monkey See Monkey Do
Gather around little children and let me tell you a story. It is a story
about an evil power hungry creature named Klogg (aka Kloggmonkey) who has
machinations for world domination. It is a story about a planet full of
Skullmonkeys who carry out Klogg’s every command. It is also a story about
an unwitting hero named Klaymen who is thrust into the path of Klogg’s
diabolical scheme. But it is mostly a story about farting, bouncing on your
butt, and the 1970s!?! Let the faint of heart beware for there are many
bizarre creatures and places on Idznak.
a story about an unknowing hero named Klaymen, a cross between Gumby, Earthworm
Jim, and Duckman, who must plow through a planet of Skullmonkeys in search
of Klogg’s Evil Engine Number Nine. He must destroy this Engine or else his
home world (the Neverhood)
is toast. The odds are stacked against him, but he has his ever ready and deadly
butt-bounce, which will render the enemy helpless. Klaymen receives aid along
his arduous journey in the form of Halos, Super Willies, Phart Heads, Glidey
Birds, Green Bullets, Phoenix hands, hamsters and the all-powerful Universal
Enema. Who says you don’t need friends?
If you haven’t figured it out by now, Skullmonkeys is not your typical
platform type game. The graphics for this game follow the trend of bucking
the norm. The whole game is done totally in Claymation, just like Gumby!!!
This graphical presentation makes for interesting and really wacky
possibilities. Klaymen, the Skullmonkeys, and the background and foreground
have a three-dimensional feel to them. It really seems as if you are moving
through a world of Skullmonkeys. Everything just seems more real, or is
All the levels are all superbly done, with lots of things to
jump on and fall off of, but I must say that my favorite level had to be the
1970s. Going through this level was like tripping out on some serious acid.
This level came complete with beaded curtains in the background, huge lava
lamps in the foreground, a whole bunch of furry (emu hair?) shag carpeting
and swirly psychedelic records to jump on. Oi, that was one whacked out level!!
The excellent graphics is further enhanced by the kick-ass soundtrack. Each level has its own particular music style. The first levels had a Donkey Kong type, “Me Tarzan,You Jane,”
Jungle Boogie, drum beat. Later levels explore Latin rhythms, Polka, and even some tunes that have never before been heard outside of Dr. Demento. However, the 1970s level came with its own very
laid-back guitar groove reminiscent of easier days and lots of pot. (Ed note: Those days are gone?) Also,
be sure to listen to the Bonus Level song because it will leave you in
stitches. Don’t crank this game up too loud, or your neighbors will think
that you are running a monkey smuggling operation in your house what with
all the inane screeching and whooping by the Skullmonkeys. Aside from the
racket made by the Skullmonkeys, there is an unbelievable amount of
flatulence going on. I’ll be damned if it don’t sound like my Aunt Tilly
after sucking down a can of baked beans. I’ll bet it smells really bad,
too. The soundtrack by itself makes playing this game worthwhile, but wait
there’s more to come…
Playing Skullmonkeys is a wacky experience to say the least. Going through
level by level, you get an idea of how twisted and whacked out the creators
were. The various minions of Klogg are representative of this vision of
madness. Sure there are the “normal” enemies such as the Clay Keepers, Loud
Mouths, and Mental Monkeys. However, there are also El Barfos, which try to
get you by blowing chunks on you, and bosses like the Shriney Guard which
hock lugeys at you. Then there are the truly depraved bosses such as
Joe-Head-Joe(a dismembered human head attached to Skullmonkey body). Ay
Madre de Dios! But fear not, Klaymen has equally bizarre weapons to counter
the enemy. There’s the basic green bullets, the Phoenix Hand(a sort of
homing bird missile thingy), the Hamster Shield(the SPCA won’t like this
one), and of course the screen clearing Universal Enema(don’t ask).
Skullmonkeys is pretty straight forward once you get past the weirdness of
You go through each level butt-bouncing monkeys and picking up
weapons, power-ups, and special objects(3 Swirly Q to get to a bonus level,
3 1970s to get to the 1970 level). After certain levels, you face the boss
and get to watch an FMV straight out of Spike and Mike’s Sick and Twisted.
Each level gets progressively harder, with more menacing enemies and more
chances to use your hand eye coordination. What’s great about Skullmonkeys
is that you get to choose your own destiny, that is after each level there
are decision points and alternate pathways to get to the next level. In the
first level, each item is preceded by a sign that explains what it is and
how to use it. These signs are helpful and saves the time of looking things
up in the instruction manual.
After playing for a couple hours, you begin to lose touch with the real
world and start to slip away into Idznak. This is a testament to the
profound impact the game has on your perception of reality. Translation: You
will bust out crazy mad after prolonged exposure. Extremely well-crafted
Claymation graphics combined with an at times hilarious if not perverse
soundtrack make Skullmonkeys something everyone should try. Come on,
inhale, it won’t kill ya. Really.