What would you think if I told you there was a video game called ‘Monkey Puncher’?
Would you think it was a simple game about twatting a monkey in the face over and over again? Perhaps it’s one of those free-to-play mobile games that you download, use once for a cheap laugh and then carry on with your life? Look at me now, neither of those options is correct.
‘Monkey Puncher’ is a game developed by Atelier Double and released for the Gameboy Color in the year 2000. I had never heard of this until a few days ago where it briefly appeared and then disappeared on the CEX website, no doubt snapped up by some lightning-fast robot desperate for his next gaming fix. The goal of the game is to train a monkey to fight in organised boxing matches in order to save the main character’s father and sibling. Then it gets stranger.
It sounds like a monster-collecting game but sprinkled with other elements. You train the monkey so he gets better at fighting then you *reads* send it out to the shops? It goes out and buys items for you. Huh. Then what happens?
“Sparring involves a normal match between the player’s monkey and a computer-controlled opponent, although without a clear winner or any reward beyond stat increases. All the monkey’s stats have a maximum limit. It is possible to date your monkeys either with each other or with a monkey from a friend or a dating shop within the game. After dating, the first monkey vanishes and is replaced with a new baby monkey.”
When I first read that paragraph I thought it said that you could date your own monkey which seems like a gross conflict of interest and not something that should be in a kid’s game. That said, none of what I’ve read should probably be in a kid’s game. You force the monkey to beat up other monkeys, you let it loose in the general public, you can whore it out to other monkeys to make better baby monkeys and this is all to save your family? I doubt Big Dave would approve of these methods to save his life.
There doesn’t appear to be a sequel, almost as if the world could not take and was not ready for an experience such as this. In a hundred years time when the alien overlords have taken over the world then possibly monkey punching will be a real thing. Given how prone the internet is to fads and everything extreme and extremist perhaps we may not have to wait so long before Twitch is chocked full of streams of trained monkeys beating up celebrities to raise money for charity. If I can make a prediction for the future within the next ten years, I would put money on that.