Atari 2600

Review by Rob "Dire 51"



Graphics: 7

Sound: 7

Gameplay: 2

Overall: 3

Coco Nuts. A game I once called "the ultimate in mindlessness." Created by Telesys in 1982, this is one of the games I usually cite as being responsible for the great Crash of '84. It's not that it was unoriginal, or anything like that, but that it's just not fun. You have this guy, named Stanley I. Presume - an obvious play on the name of Sir Henry M. Stanley, the man that tracked down Dr. David Livingstone in the African jungle in 1871 and asked the famous question "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?" - who walks back and forth under two palm trees. He's got an umbrella and a hat.

Up in one of the trees is a monkey named Coco. He throws coconuts at you. Apparently, he's "on the loose again", and while one would think that maybe it's Stanley's job to capture him, that's not the case here. Your mission: to guide this stupid guy back and forth under the palm trees and avoid the coconuts that Coco throws. If you lose your umbrella, hat and then get hit in the head, game over. This moron apparently doesn't know enough to go find another tree to walk under. So he just keeps walking aimlessly back and forth, and in an incredible feat of programming, if you don't touch the joystick, he'll walk himself. Admittedly, that wasn't something I'd seen before, until I got a hold of a copy of M Network's Frogs And Flies, where if no one touches the controls, the frogs will eventually start moving on their own.

You can gain your hat and/or umbrella back when you reach both 500 and 1500 points. Depending on what wave you're in, the more the coconuts you dodge will be worth. For instance, in wave 1 and 2, the coconuts are worth 5 points each. In waves 3 and 4, they're worth 10 points each. Each wave increases the point amount per coconut by 5. Also, the difficulty switches to come into play here. In "B" mode, Stanley moves quicker. In "A" mode, Stanley moves a lot slower. There is also a two player mode, which can make for an interesting competition mode sometimes, if you're into that kind of thing (which I'm not). Each score counter is color coded to, so you won't easily lose track of which score is yours.

Graphically, the game is okay. Stanley is very large, and detailed well enough. You can tell that it's a man on the screen, he's wearing a hat and has an umbrella. Coco looks pretty good as well - he looks like a monkey. Another plus. Even the palm trees look like palm trees, right down to the shading on the bark. Oddly, the coconuts Coco throws get distorted right before they exit the screen. They start off looking reasonably like coconuts, but then they turn into squares. The music, what little of it there is, is all right as well.

The controls are a bit off. Stanley walks with a lurching motion, and as such, it can be difficult to get him to go the way you want him to. With a little practice, though, you get used to how he moves, and can usually avoid the coconuts. Eventually, the higher the score you get, the faster Coco throws the coconuts. Every so often - before he speeds up - Coco will stop where he is and bounce up and down. The higher score you get, the faster he bounces. I've gotten him to the point where it looks like someone shoved a jackhammer up his ass and turned it on full blast.

My main problem with the game is how repetitive it is. Yes, I've played (and enjoyed) repetitive games before, but Coco Nuts simply doesn't have what it takes to be an addictive diversion, at least for me. Dodging falling coconuts over and over just doesn't appeal to me, what can I say? Your mileage may vary. There are many, many other games for the VCS that are better, and that I'd recommend playing before Coco Nuts. Like I said before, this game is just not fun. And the name even - Coco Nuts. Get it? The monkey throws coconuts at you, and his name is Coco, and he's nuts... get it? See? Get it?


Oh yeah... one thing I forgot about was the really stupid look on this moron's face. He just walks around aimlessly, with that stupid grin.

Find a tree without a psycho monkey in it to walk under, you moron!


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Last updated: Saturday, September 25, 2004 09:10 AM