Monkey Boxing from Crescent Moon Games is an iOS title that's pretty self-explanatory: it features monkeys boxing. I mean, that it. And really, what else could you want than a bunch of kooky simians in weird outfits, throwing haymakers and uppercuts at each other? So jump in and see if this game is truly a-peeling (sorry, I had to), or if it's just monkeying around. And yes, I promise to seek counseling with regard to my issue with puns. I can't help it if I go bananas for them.

This game is very simple, folks: two gloved monkeys go into the ring and only one comes out conscious. There are 50 monkeys to fight on your pugilistic journey, with each boxer better than the last. Every few levels, you'll find yourself faced with a named monkey, usually modeled after a real world celebrity, and you can unlock different costume parts to customize your fighter upon defeating them.

For example, one of the lower-level named monkeys is named Chuck Monkey, wears a cowboy hat, rocks sunglasses, and unlocks the "Ranger" achievement. If it isn't totally clear for you now, or if you're not old enough to have watched Walker: Texas Ranger, then this monkey is supposed to be Chuck Norris. Fun, right?

And fighting other monkeys couldn't be easier, thanks to a two-button control system. You get a Punch button and a Block button, both of which will be smashed repeatedly throughout every match. Punching ad nauseam will definitely result in your opponent lying flat on the floor like he's just been sedated, but blocking is the key to winning against boxers in the later levels.

Blocking at just the right time after an opponent throws a punch causes a Guard Break, deflecting their gloved fists and leaving them open for your own combos. Get enough hits in and at the end of the match, a few hit icons will appear on the screen, sometimes accompanied by a bonus icon that raises you speed, power, defense, and health.

If you're able to hit all of the icons before your opponent does, you'll go into an animation and land a sick power hit. And if you do it in the second round, you'll trigger a Challenge in which both boxers start swatting their hands at each other and little wheels pop up. Spin your wheel fast enough so that the meter remains your color and you'll knock out your opponent, thereby winning the match.

After every win, you'll receive a Training Point, which you can spend on one of three training exercises that will raise your Strength (oftentimes misspelled as 'strenght' on the Stats screen), Endurance, and Speed. As you can imagine, these stats affect how hard you can punch, how much damage you can mitigate, and the speed at which your furry fists of fury fly. There's no specific build that's more successful than the rest, so feel free to experiment and dump any number of points into whatever stats you prefer.

And that's basically the whole game. You can fight another player in 2-Player mode, but it's a pretty bare-bones feature that just has both players playing on the same screen, in what pretty much amounts to a digital Rock'em Sock'em Robots. The game can be fun, but it's that simplistic kind of fun that doesn't really require any neurons firing, so it gets stale after a while. And that's a shame, because monkeys in boxing gear are totally cool.

Perhaps the biggest downer when it comes to Monkey Boxing is the fact that it costs $2.99. While I appreciate that there are no in-app purchases and that the full game is built into that price, there's just not enough gaming to be done in Monkey Boxing past the game's 50 monkey fights and the occasional two-player bout.

If only it had other modes that could bolster its replay value in order to justify that price, then it would have gotten a higher score. But ultimately, it does little more than teach you how to time your button mashes and make your arm tired from all of the spinning during Challenges.

But hey, at least you can stick Doctor Who's TARDIS on your monkey's trunks and give him a top hat. Top hats are cool.


App Store Link: Monkey Boxing for iPhone & iPad | By Crescent Moon Games | Price: $2.99 | Version: 1.0 | 31.5 MB | Rating 9+

5.5 out of 10 arcade sushi rating