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Portabliss: Baby Monkey Going Backwards on a Pig (iOS)


Did you know that you can download handheld games now? That's amazingly convenient! The only inconvenient part of it is finding the right games to buy -- and that's where we come in, with our Portabliss column. In each installment, we'll tell you about a downloadable game on the iPhone, iPad, Android device, DSi, 3DS, PSP, etc. Today: Baby Monkey!

As Robot Unicorn Attack has proven, some games just can't be separated from their music. What point is there in galloping across a star-strewn road if Andy Bell isn't serenading your rhythmic majesty? If you ever get tired of the game, it's because you finally gave up on the song.

In the case of Baby Monkey Going Backwards on a Pig, you're dealing with a Youtube-derived Parry Gripp ditty. Oh no! That's a worst-case scenario, in which the eventual, hateful intolerance is further away than you'd like to admit. Even once you've killed it, the chalk outline will stay on your brain pavement for a month.

So, simply as a cute animated music video, Baby Monkey asks a fair price at $1. The fact that it's a fun, effervescent jumping game feels like a bonus.

With the zoological backstory established by the audio, you can concentrate on controlling both monkey and pig with separate jump buttons. As the monkey, you'll bounce upwards to grab bananas (which contain more points than potassium) and to protect yourself whenever your ham-based vehicle crashes through obstacles. The pig runs ahead automatically, but can be tripped up by steps and ditches in the road.

You have to keep your eye on two spots, and be mindful that piggy can't jump if monkey is in the air. If you jump up for that last banana and don't land before the pig has to leap over something, you've fallen into the game's trap. It gets a little more complex -- you can suss out specific jumping patterns in the way the airborne bananas are arranged, or boost the monkey higher if the pig jumps first -- but it's mostly a relaxed test of endurance and avoidance.

The impulse to run just a bit farther and keep moving up the leaderboards is usually accompanied by another thought: "Well, I do want to hear the song again."

Baby Monkey Going Backwards on a Pig is available from the iOS App Store for $0.99. We're always looking for new distractions. Want to submit your game for Portabliss consideration? You can reach us at portabliss aat joystiq dawt com.

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