Skullmonkeys Review

Nebojsa Radakovic
Skullmonkeys Info


  • N/A


  • 1 - 1


  • Electronic Arts


  • N/A

Release Date

  • 12/31/1969
  • Out Now


  • PS


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.

Skullmonkeys is

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

that surreal?

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

it all.

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.