Hand-drawn backgrounds provide a beautiful backdrop for a jaunty little top-hat wearing wild thing, in Aelius' Primate Plunge. As Monkey drops through obstacles such as thorny branches or bouncy ropes, tilt and tap to guide him safely through potential peril. The screen is constantly moving so if Monkey lags on a branch for too long spikes at the top of the screen will spell disaster for our hero.
It isn't all struggle for our simian friend. Primate Plunge offers power-ups — hearts to gain new life, parachutes, jetpacks and jumping beans to give him a boost — that can be collected and redeemed by tapping the icon in the bottom corner. A jade toned jungle leads into caustic canyons, wily waterfalls, a volatile volcano and a scary cityscape, giving Monkey bigger challenges and more intense play in later levels.
Bad evolution and monkey jokes aside, according to the Aelius site, Primate Plunge's early incarnation, desktop as opposed to hand held, competed in uDevGame2003, the annual Mac game competition hosted by iDevGames.com. It's easy to see why such a gorgeous game came in third overall, and placed in the top five in categories such as polish, sound, originality and gameplay. Credit must be handed to the developers, so many iPhone app endeavors lack the effort that Primate Plunge makes evident.
There isn't a whole lot to mastering the basics of this game. Simply put, Primate Plunge is a cute adventure and an ambitious application.