Monkeynauts: Merge Monkeys

App review by
Paul Semel, Common Sense Media
Monkeynauts: Merge Monkeys App Poster Image
Dull, simple puzzler slips on its own banana peels.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Game uses simple touch controls and is easy to learn.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

Players use in-game currency to buy monkeys. Players get this currency by playing, by buying some in the game's store, or by watching ads. Players can also watch ads to speed up the process by which monkeys and coins are made. The game also runs ads at random points, and while the ads have sound, the game itself doesn't, which can be jarring.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Monkeynauts: Merge Monkeys is an arcade game for iOS and Android devices. It has no objectionable content, but it's a bit over eager in the advertising department. Players use in-game coins to buy monkeys. These coins are earned by playing, watching ads, or by purchasing some in the store. Players can also increase how many coins they earn by watching ads, though the game also runs ads randomly. What's also jarring is the fact that the game has no sound effects or music, which makes the video ads stand out that much more. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared, and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

In MONKEYNAUTS: MERGE MONKEYS, you're trying to help some monkeys to go to outer space so they can eat a space banana. Technically, there's very little plot going on, and the game doesn't explain much for the monkeys as far as their goals. But then again, there's not much to the gameplay, either. Using simple touch controls, you have to tap on tubes to unlock baby monkeys, then combine two monkeys to make a more grown-up monkey, and so on and so forth. Eventually, you'll hopefully be able to help these monkeys with their goal, and bring banana eating to the final frontier.

Is it any good?

This is just a waste of some good monkeys. In Monkeynauts: Merge Monkeys, you supposed to help some monkeys go to outer space so they can get a space banana or something. The game isn't really all that clear about what's going on. But then, it's not real clear about what you're supposed to do, either. When it starts, you see a baby monkey in a giant test tube, and after tapping the glass to release them, you're supposed to wait until a second arrives, then slide your finger to merge the two together to form a more evolved form of monkey. You then continue to merge monkeys of the same kind until you have enough to pilot a spaceship and fly to the moon...where you have to repeat the process while also keeping track of monkey production on Earth.

As adorable as this may sound, though, it's kind of pointless. You don't really do anything. When a tube with a baby monkey appears, you just have to tap it to break it open, and then you just drag one monkey to their twin to form a new monkey. That's it. There's no puzzles to solve, nothing to shoot or figure out, no challenge literally just sit and wait and occasionally tap the screen and drag your finger across it. In fact, the only reason you may play it is to see if there's more to it. But there isn't. Even worse, the game's greedy with ads -- one even comes up if you try to access the options menu -- and while those ads have sound, the game does not, so the ads stand out even more. As a result, you'll probably want to eat a banana or do any other monkey business instead of play Monkeynauts: Merge Monkeys.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about managing your money. In Monkeynauts: Merge Monkeys, you earn coins just by waiting, but you can also buy them with real money, so does it make sense to spend money on a game when you don't need to? Why do you think games are made with these features included?

  • How do you balance the time you spend playing a game with doing something else? Does it matter more if you're playing a game that's easy versus a game that's challenging?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPad, Android
  • Price: free with microtransactions and ads
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: October 10, 2019
  • Category: Arcade Games
  • Size: 362.50 MB
  • Publisher: HyperBeard Inc
  • Version: 1.2
  • Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 8.0 or later; Android 4.4 and up
  • Last updated: October 14, 2019

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