Monkey Pirates Review (Wii U)

Monkey Pirates Gameplay/Review

From the start, Monkey Pirates presents itself as the cute game it is. The cartoony visuals are excellently drawn, the music is some of the most fitting I’ve ever heard. I can sit for several minutes just enjoying the menu theme. The “How to Play” section explains the mechanics of the game excellently, and if you still don’t really understand how it works, the tutorial does a great job of teaching you through your own experience. The challenge mode, on the other hand, could easily have been more fleshed out. One challenge for each captain? These won’t hold your attention for more than a few minutes.

Versus Mode

Multiplayer is where Monkey Pirates shines. Four captains battle each other in three different game modes: Stand by the board (Free for all), Jolly Roger (Capture the Flag), and Bananas Race, where you have to collect as many bananas as possible, but lose every single one if you die. You have four different captains to choose from, all with their own advantage. Henchmen Studio has done a good job balancing them, however against less skilled players, Oranglü Tan’s long range cannons will definitely give you an edge.

The passive bonuses are a nice addition to the game. Red enhances your firepower; green makes your ship better; and blue cause stuff to happen. These are all great, except for the blue bonus Coconut Juice, which makes all the monkeys so wasted that the screen warps and the controls are reversed. This can be extremely annoying; as the AI does not actually care that it’s supposed to go the wrong way.*

*This – as the rest of the game – becomes much better when replacing the AI with slaves friends.

Monkey Pirates Gameplay

Speaking of drugs, here’s a fun drinking game; take a shot every time you spot a grammatical error, typo, or otherwise bad English. You’ll get drunk within minutes, and the game will get more fun with every shot.


Had Henchmen Studio gone through with their original plans and released this on PC, this review would end here. However, there is another mode made possible by the Wii U gamepad, and it is fantastic.

Sea King

This is kind of a “Dungeon Master” mode, or as I like to call it, a “fuck you” mode. Here, four people on the TV battle each other as usual, but with the added “Sea King”, the girl with the gamepad. The game has her pick a “deed”, a goal that must be accomplished so she will get points. This is usually making selected captains having a certain number of bananas. She may reach this goal in three different ways; simply observing, helping captains by giving them bonuses or bananas, or fucking with them by making every AI player attack their ship at once. Achieving these goals has no actual benefit except a high score, so you might as well be a dick to everyone. Which is just fine.

Should you give it a go?

If you prefer playing by yourself, Monkey Pirates is not for you. The lack of online multiplayer, a story mode and a more diverse challenge mode, makes this game a rather lacklustre single player experience. However, if you have friends to play with on the couch, Monkey Pirates can a lot of fun. And the games’ support of every official Wii U controller option ensures you will have a controller for everyone.

It’s a distraction. A fun little party distraction that will entertain you for a while, both before and after the drinking starts. And for five bucks, I’d say it’s worth a try.


Monkey Pirates Review (Wii U)
The game offers hours of mulitplayer party fun, but the challenge mode lacks substance, and will not hold you over for more than a few minutes. Because of this, the game deserves a 7/10.
Challenge mode5
  • Fun multiplayer
  • Good use of the gamepad
  • Excellent music
  • Bad AI
  • Lacklustre challenge mode
7Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)
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