This banana does not have a-peel.
Banana Bliss: Jungle Puzzle is a cute little puzzle game that follows Morris the monkey as he tries to impress his sweetheart Molly by gathering as many hearts and bananas as he can during their tropical vacation. While the levels can get quite challenging, Banana Bliss offers no real variety or gimmicks to keep the over 350 puzzles fresh. It’s a solid game, perfect to pick up and play at any time, but the lack of imagination and modes keep this game from reaching its full potential.
There are seven worlds in Banana Bliss, with 50 levels contained in each. However, the lack of distinguishing traits for each world keeps them from standing out. Each level sends players on a mission to collect all the hearts within a single room and meet up with Molly as fast as you can. An invisible banana is hidden somewhere in each area, and finding it will not only make Molly love you forever, but also allow the game to save a replay video of your success and unlock more levels. Morris automatically climbs small obstacles, but sadly cannot jump to higher platforms unassisted. Instead, players must focus on moving Morris around using the d-pad and interacting with various objects via the A button. The touch screen is ignored, serving only to remind you of the controls.
New obstacles are introduced as players progress through the game. Morris must face dangerous wild animals, roll boulders, move timed blocks vertically, use fans to fly, and shoot across the screen by using the strongest springs known to monkey-kind. Levels can be restarted quickly with a push of the X button, which is a nice change of pace from the slog of restarting levels in other games.
The graphics are, in a word, uninspired. Each level features brown bricks in the foreground with a generic jungle background. Sure, the overall aesthetic is cute and fun, but every new object is introduced in the first two worlds, making levels blend together – a fact not helped by the barely changing soundtrack. Thankfully, the puzzles themselves are interesting and can take some time to complete on harder areas, which is really the main factor in a puzzle game.
Replayability is high, as levels can be completed without finding the elusive banana. Returning to levels to find this potassium-packed prize not only is a reward in itself, but also opens up new strategic possibilities. Unlocking the saved replay video can help players find more efficient routes and ways to solve each puzzle, thus improving their overall time.
Banana Bliss is a straightforward puzzle game disguised as something with a bit more pizazz. It could have benefitted from some extra effort or variety, but the game is perfect for a quick puzzle or two to fill the time when you need it. Just be sure not to expect anything else from those cute little monkeys.