Hail to the Chimp

Political thunderdome is the new natural selection

Sure all that stuff is par for the party game course, but Hail to the Chimp's most noteworthy feature is the team-ups. Another player giving you a problem? Form a temporary alliance with someone else and take his ass down a peg. The way your collaborative assault will manifest is dependent on the characters. When we saw Hedwig the polar bear running away with success, our hippo, Ptolemy, united with Santo the armadillo to create a devastating circus ball of doom. As long as both players aiming in the same direction, we mowed down any animal foolhardy enough to exist in our path, and reaped their clams as a reward.

The unconscionable amount of stats tracked by the leaderboards are only rivaled by the bizarre rewards divvied out. We were told that even the most innocuous task can be rewarded with one of manywearable pieces of "flair." Someone camping around on a mapcould be issued a canteen like a merit badge of cowardice. Either way, you can adorn your animal any way you wish, and can even tradeharder to find pieces of flair with friends online.

The gameplay is easily suitable for the entire family, but some of the more ribald jokes and animal puns could land it a Teen rating. Quips about "cougars on the prowl" may sail over kiddies' heads, but it'll be bit harder to explain a late-night 900 number commercial parody, featuring the "thorniest" female hedgehogs around, to the ESRB. Either way, both Wideload and Gamecock say they're committed to keeping the humor in tactat any cost, so come the first quarter of 2008, you'll get to see this hilariousmultiplayer free-for-all exactly the way the writers intended.

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