Overall Score 90%
Cactus Bruce and the Corporate Monkeys
The Hollabanger Corporation are attempting to turn Foster Island into a banana plantation - or is there more to their nefarious scheme? It's up to Cactus Bruce to stop them. Take command of the pirate cactus and his one-ton extendable claw. As you progress you'll be joined by many of Bruce's friends, who can aid you in your battle.
Bruce's friends are even stranger than Bruce himself. There's the gnome that parachutes flowerpots into the battle for you, Billy the Blowfish, Marvin the Exploding Snowman (in the Carribean?!) and many more. Even the Corporate Monkeys you are battling are cute.
The aim of the game is to banish the Hollabanger Corporation from the island in a series of levels. Each level you must take out the monkeys by removing all the anchor blocks, which they throw coconuts at you from. More monkeys (and other things!) constantly fall onto the screen and you need to take out the blocks within the time limit by grabbing things with the claw and chucking them at the blocks, the monkeys, etc. The most common items to chuck at blocks are the monkeys themselves!
Everything in the game (except high score entry) is done by mouse. You move the claw in this fashion, which is a little fiddly until you get used to it, and fire the claw with the left mouse button. In a hurry you can retract the claw again with the right mouse button. You cannot move the claw when you've fired it. If your aim is good you can snatch an object, which you can then aim and fire with the left mouse button again.
Graphically the game is superb. The monkeys are cute, everything runs smoothly and the cartoon style is taken full advantage of by the bizarre range of allies and objects. Even Cactus Bruce himself is small but well drawn. Everything animates, even when paused!
Sound is also good, with a suitable effect for every occasion. I particularly like the flowerpot smashing sound when it hits a monkey! Background music is also high quality and fits the manic cartoon style of the game. And of course, where would we be without Bruce's wonderful comments at the end of each level?
On to the playability. Though it takes a little practice to fire the claw accurately and it does seem to get stuck at the extreme edges of movement, using mouse control is a stroke of genius. With it you can bash coconuts out of the way as they approach from all sides and aim very carefully. The game is easy to understand and introduces new objects one at a time. My only reservation is the unlimited continues, which make it easy to complete the game.
Overall, I enjoyed Cactus Bruce and the Corporate Monkeys. It's insane, exciting and fun. The game premise is simple and easy to understand, made more varied by the cavalcade of objects one can throw. It deserves recognition because, more than clever graphics or simple playability, when I sat down in front of it early evening, it was suddenly time for bed.
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