With the current year of the monkey now over a week old, the Tag team felt it was as good a time as any to celebrate some of the great simians to grace the gaming industry. Have a peek below to find out some of our favourites and be sure to get in touch if you disagree.
We had originally planned to salute Diddy’s more famous and elderly uncle, before a member of the team firmly pointed out the error of our ways. Donkey Kong is in fact not a monkey but a gorilla and since we like to describe our primates with accuracy here at Tag, won’t be making our list. Diddy however provides an ample replacement, having graduated from plucky sidekick in the still-pretty Donkey Kong Country to his own kart racer in the late 90s. More youthful gamers may know him mainly from his appearances in the Super Smash Bros. series, where he’s attracted some controversy due to being annoyingly difficult to beat.
Appearing seemingly from nowhere, Sega’s Super Monkey Ball popped up to become a surprise sleeper hit back in 2002. Players instinctively felt protective of poor Aiai, stuck perpetually in a perspex ball and rolling around all manner of weird, wonderful and dangerous landscapes. Guiding Aiai to safety proved to be a task both infuriating and moreish, a cocktail that has seen the Super Monkey Ball series pop up on almost every console and mobile platform going since its inception.
The 3-Headed Monkey
Here in the UK there are few games more fondly remembered than The Secret of Monkey Island, a game filled with story, wit and a feeling that they just don’t make ‘em like that anymore. The monkey only made a relatively brief (if vital) appearance late on in the game, but found itself mentioned almost constantly as the Guybrush Threepwood tried to get one over on the eccentric residents of the game’s titular island.
For those that could get over his frankly nightmarish appearance, the lead character of the Samba De Amigo chaperoned many a dignified, maraca-driven rendition of “Mambo Number 5” throughout the 2000s. Amigo’s antics made an appearance both in arcades and on home platforms and are still a blast, assuming you can be bothered fishing the maracas out the back of your cupboard.
The Things That Chase You in Temple Run
Donkey Kong, “Monkey” from Enslaved and Killer Gorilla have all been barred from this Hall of Fame for anatomical reasons, so it might seem controversial to include these ambiguous horrors from the 2012 iOS and Android smash. However the fountain of knowledge that is Wikipedia confirms they are indeed “demonic monkeys” and so they get to nicely round off our list. Not the most photogenic bunch, they did however pose less threat than pits, firebreathing statues or simply swiping the wrong part of the screen.