Boxing is one of America’s oldest pastimes. In fact, it’s one of the oldest sports in the world, appearing in the Olympics since 698 B.C. The sport has been popular among gamblers for just as long. There are few things as fun as watching two people punching each other until their brains shut down. Developer Crescent Moon Games is placing their bet that seeing two monkeys fighting is one of those two things. After playing Monkey Boxing, it looks like this match may go to the judge’s cards.
Monkey Boxing isn’t without its positive traits. The cartoony graphics are well polished and easy on the eyes. There is a wide assortment of customizable options for the look of your boxer. You can choose the color of your gloves (along with the trim and logo), shorts styles, head gear and glasses. Many of these are locked initially, but you unlock them by progressing through the game, rather than paying extra money. On this end, Crescent Moon proves they know what makes a great Android game, unfortunately the rest of the game feels like they just called it in.
The gameplay is easy to pick up, and Monkey Boxing does a great job of walking players through the initial gameplay with brief pop-up windows introducing features as you need them. Control-wise, the game uses two buttons – punch and block. Landing consecutive punches builds up combos and the onscreen counter does a great job of keeping you in the loop on your combo progress. On defense, you can either hold the block button to simply block the attack, or time it right and force your opponent to drop his guard, allowing you an opening to begin an attack.
While the game is fun to play initially, it starts to quickly lose its playability as you progress. I was expecting each opponent to have different fighting styles similar to Nintendo’s Punch-Out! games. Unfortunately this wasn’t so. The game is a button masher with very little strategy involved. There aren’t different ways to get a KO. You’re just playing the same match over and over.
As you progress through your simian pugilist’s career, the opponent’s looks vary enough to keep you interested for a short time, but without a storyline or different fighting styles to tie it together, it’s difficult to care very much. Achievement trophies lend to the replay value, and it’s nice having a choice of training sessions in between matches to upgrade your skills (stamina, speed, strength). Stacking all of your points on one skill is your best strategy. I found that by putting all your points in speed, it took out all strategy. You could outbox your opponent simply by mashing the punch button faster than your opponent.Monkey Boxing is an average boxing game, but I expected so much more from it. It’s worth picking up if you really enjoying monkeys. If you’re a boxing fan, however, you’ll be disappointed with the lack of depth and story.