Ace Banana

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Ace Banana Game Poster Image
Repetition, glitchy bugs hurt this VR shooter's a-"peel."

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Game involves shooting monkeys with arrows to defend population of bananas. There's a side mission to care for growing fruit, but overall, very few lessons to learn.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Players basically oversized, anthropomorphic bananas with archery skills. Although considered "guardians," they've got no real personality to set themselves up as positive, negative influences.

Ease of Play

While basic mechanics of firing a virtual bow are relatively easy to pick up, play, constant flow of enemies makes repetitive motions tiring very quickly. There's an issue with aim constantly drifting off-kilter, regardless of how often you recalibrate PSVR unit.


Game is an arcade-style shooter, so you're constantly firing arrows at attacking monkeys. But violence is very cartoonish in nature; your arrows simply knock away monkeys. There's no blood, death, with defeated enemies simply flying offscreen, disappearing once hit.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Ace Banana is a downloadable first-person shooter for the PlayStation VR system. The game is meant to be an arcade-action experience for gamers of all ages. Players step into the peel of anthropomorphic bananas armed with a bow and arrows as they fend off attacks of various invading monkeys. While action is nonstop, the violence is extremely exaggerated and cartoonish. It's constant but not realistic by any means. Parents should also be aware that virtual reality equipment makers don't recommend VR experiences for kids under 12 due to the potential impact the technology may have on younger players' physiological development.

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What's it about?

ACE BANANA is the latest VR shooter for the PSVR. It's a long-held notion that where there are bananas, there are monkeys looking to steal them. When a group of particularly crafty simians decides to invade a tropical island filled with the tasty fruit, they find they might have bitten off a little more than they can chew. After all, they didn't count on you, an oversized anthropomorphic Banana Archer, tasked with repelling the invaders with your trusty bow and arrows. You'll need a keen sense of aim and a few trick shots up your sleeve to defend your young crop of banana brethren from clown monkeys, hard-hat monkeys, ninja monkeys, jet-pack monkeys, and even vampire monkeys. In between battles, you'll rely less on your bow arm and more on your green thumb, as you raise your crop of bananas with a little TLC before raining down destruction on the next monkey army to cross your path.

Is it any good?

The repetitive, bug-filled gameplay of this VR shooter quickly becomes an exhausting exercise in frustration. Now, based solely on their respective slots in the food chain, it's hard to imagine monkeys being threatened by bananas. But what if a banana was stranded on a tropical island for years and had honed remarkable skills as an archer? Well, while that premise might be too crazy for even a CW TV show, it's apparently ripe for a VR video game. To its credit, Ace Banana starts off well enough. It's got a cute, cartoonish look that fits perfectly with the theme. And if you're using two Move controllers, it genuinely feels like you're firing off arrows from an imaginary bow. Unfortunately, it doesn't take long before the game starts to miss its target, both figuratively and literally.

The biggest issue the game has is its controls. It's bad enough that the repetitive motion of firing arrows quickly can actually wear the player out quickly, especially as the difficulty ramps up and more monkeys are tossed their way. But worse than that, the calibration is a mess. No matter how often you hit the reset button, the aiming always pulls heavily away from center. This issue doesn't seem to be as bad (though it's still an issue) if you use the regular DualShock controller instead of the Move. Unfortunately, you can't use it during the between-level sections where you care for the bananas.  And with the VR headset on, it's a pain to try to constantly switch between the Move and the DualShock on the fly. Even if you do manage to adjust to the control issues, you've got to deal with the poor game design. Without any checkpoints to aid your progress, losing means starting all the way back at square one. With all the bugs that the game is already dealing with, starting over just doesn't seem like it's worth the effort.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. How does the exaggerated and cartoonish nature of the violence in games like Ace Banana affect gamers when compared to more realistic violence in many shooters?

  • Talk about nature and wildlife. What are some of the ways that animals actually behave, and what are some of the options for studying wildlife in the real world?

Game details

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For kids who love shooters

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