A seaworthy attempt to recapture '90s multiplayer.
The Monkey Pirates developers, Henchmen Studios, sought to revitalize what they see as a dying genre - the non-mini-game multiplayer. The naval combat game is simple - as a monkey captain, you must navigate your ship around waters to collect the most bananas, while attacking the other ships and avoiding attacks yourself. A variety of sea-appropriate weapons, such as cannons, mines, and battering rams are available.
But keep in mind that these are ships that you’re steering, and thus their movement is dictated by the wind, which adds an element of distinctiveness to the controls. A colored ring around each ship indicates how fast they can go in each direction, with green indicating faster speeds. You’ll need to prepare your course properly in order to navigate around the screen effectively.
Four monkey captains can battle their way in local multiplayer, while a fifth person can use the Wii U GamePad to check out game stats and zoom in on the action. Four areas, Arctic, Caribbean, Egypt, and China, provide different environmental hazards.
Without an online mode, Monkey Pirates is tailored for fun living room get togethers (though AI also lets you play by yourself). Theme notwithstanding, it did have a bit of a Super Monkey Ball multiplayer feel, though the sailing mechanics allow for a bit deeper experience.