Categories
News

Darkestville Castle (Switch) REVIEW – Monkey Business

I’ve written about video game nostalgia on a number of occasions in my reviews. Since gaming began to mature in the early 90s, we’ve seen many developers and publishers try to sequelize their hottest properties and attempt to follow up or reboot games or franchises that were once popular with fans.

It seems that, year on year, we see an increase in spiritual successors to cult favourites and older games for various reasons. Perhaps a series has moved in a different direction like Fallout, or maybe an IP owner has no desire to produce a new game, feeling there’s no audience for a sequel to Dungeon Keeper. It could even be the case that the game has been totally forgotten about like Hexen. But over the past few years, we’ve seen these games get unofficial follow ups in Wasteland, War for the Overworld and Amid Evil respectively.

Monkey Island was probably one of the biggest franchises in the point and click genre during the 1990s, with 4 main games from 1990-2000, and a Telltale series in 2009, all while still remaining one of the most loved point and click series of all time. For over 10 years, the series has remained dormant and is now owned by Disney, who seem to want nothing to do with the franchise, nor want anything done with it. Original series creator Ron Gilbert has ‘begged’ Disney to sell his creations back to him, to no avail.

So what are fans to do with the lack of Monkey Island games in 2020? Well, you could do a lot worse than picking up a copy of Darkestville Castle.

Darkestville Castle review
Darkestville Castle review

Darkestville Castle is doing its best to replicate the look and feel of the third game in that famous LucasArts series, The Curse of Monkey Island. While some fans shun Curse for not having Gilbert involved, many others remember it for its large sprites and busy, colourful environments.

It is surprising, then, that Darkestville Castle doesn’t try to follow Monkey Island’s footsteps entirely, and does away with the whole pirate theme. While games like Captain Morgane attempted to emulate Monkey Island by doubling down on the pirate theme, Darkestville Castle does the right thing by trying to emulate the feel of the game instead..

Much like Curse of Monkey Island, Darkestville Castle features large character sprites, as well as busy, colourful locations. Our protagonist is Cid, a witty, sharp talking demon who lives in the titular Darkestville Castle. Design and writing wise, he’s a great choice as the main character, decked out in his tricorne hat and general 18th century fashion — he really stands out as the main man of this game.

Cid is also very witty and well written, and while he doesn’t quite match up to the great point and click characters of years gone by, such as Guybrush Threepwood or George Stobbart, he does a noble job at emulating their charm. While he has the look and the sound, Cid, and the game generally, is lacking in decent animations.

Darkestville Castle review
Darkestville Castle review

Darknesville Castle’s standout feature is its soundtrack, which owes a lot to Curse of Monkey Island. In fact, if I heard some of the music without playing the game, I might struggle to figure out which game it belongs to. It’s a little cheeky to imitate the soundtrack so closely, though it’s borrowing from some of the best in the genre, so I think it passes as a tribute to Curse. Just barely.

I have noticed that in a number of lower budget point and click games, animations are restricted to walking around. Picking things up often sees Cid vaguely reach out, or he just magically receives the item. It is by no means a huge negative for the game, and is only really a minor gripe, but is one that’s very apparent in comparison to some other point and click games.

Gameplay wise, Darkestville Castle doesn’t really break new ground, but that’s not really the point here. It’s a point and click game, so as I’ve said many times before, you point and click. Well, in the case of the Switch port, you can also use the touch screen to tap icons to interact with them, which is one of the key benefits of playing this port. Saying that, while many point and click games that use controllers are a little hard to love, playing Darkestville Castle with the controller was actually pretty good.

The game offers you all the trappings of point and click fare: click to move to a location on the screen and click objects to interact. Much like many other modern point and click games, it features the ability to reveal interactable items to the player. While for many older players this might seem sacrilege, it certainly means no more hours of ‘hunt the pixel’ to determine what can be clicked on and what can’t.

One thing that Darkestville Castle does differently to many other modern ‘retro’ point and click games is the way you interact with the gameworld. Much like Curse of Monkey Island, clicking on an object brings up a little icon which allows you to choose what you can do with an object.

Darkestville Castle review
Darkestville Castle review

This icon gives you three options: talk to, grab or look at, which are pretty self-explanatory. ‘Talk’ allows you to speak to people, ‘look at’ allows Cid to give you more information on an item or person, and ‘grab’ can be anything from pick up to use.

As you’d expect, there are puzzles and conundrums that require solving for you to progress in the game. Generally speaking, these have a decent learning curve so they gradually get more difficult as you play. However, sometimes Darkestville Castle tends to stick a little too closely to classic point and click gameplay. Puzzles often involve picking up objects and sometimes knowing which ones need to be used can become a bit of a chore.

While Darkesville Castle doesn’t try anything new, it does replicate a long forgotten genre very well. Yes, it falls into some of the negative trappings of the point and click genre, but it is obviously made with a lot of respect for the game that inspired it. It’s a witty and fun adventure, albeit possibly a little short for some people’s tastes.

A Switch key was provided by PR for the purposes of this review. 

Some of the coverage you find on Cultured Vultures may contain affiliate links, which may provide us with small commissions based on purchases made from visiting our site.

Darkestville Castle

Verdict

Darkestville Caste is a valiant attempt at creating a spiritual successor to one of the most beloved point and click games ever made, and, on some levels, it succeeds.

Categories
News

Go Bananas Over These Irresistible Banana Puddings from Monkey Pint!

Banana Pudding is one of the most indulgent desserts one could ever enjoy. If you’re on the hunt for one to sink your teeth into, local brand Monkey Pint is one you should definitely check out!

Monkey Pint puts irresistible goodness in one package using ingredients familiar to the Pinoy tastebuds. They offer three different flavors: Classic Vanilla, Hany, and Chocolate.

What instantly got me hooked to their puddings is that, unlike the many other banana puddings I’ve tried, they weren’t overly sweet. In fact, owner Miguel Gorospe shared that he likewise found the more popular brands far too sugary to fully enjoy, and decided that would be Monkey Pint’s differentiating factor.

“We try to depend on the sweetness of our Banana Pudding to the sweetness of our locally-sourced bananas. We have this belief that the longer the bananas stay in the pints, the sweeter it gets,” Miguel said. “This is primarily the reason why we don’t put much sweetener in our products. We believe that the sweetness of our local bananas is enough.”

Digging into each of the three flavors, you will be treated to varying textures that taste heavenly to the mouth once they’re mixed together. You get the creamy vanilla custard or chocolate pudding base, the spongey vanilla wafer cookies, and the delectable chunks of sliced fresh bananas—all creating one mouthwatering experience!

Among them all, the Hany Banana Pudding stands out the most. The nutty texture just adds another layer of flavor into the dessert that makes it so addicting. As a huge fan of chocolate, however, I found myself reaching out for the Chocolate Banana Pudding the most for my post-meal treat. Of course, you can never go wrong with the Original Banana—simple yet oh so perfect.

Monkey Pint currently delivers to all parts of Metro Manila and nearby cities in Laguna, Rizal, and Cavite. Each pint (16oz) is priced at PHP 250 and is best eaten after chilling in the refrigerator within three days after opening.

Monkey Pint

https://www.facebook.com/monkeypint
https://www.instagram.com/monkeypint


Do you have a story for the WhenInManila.com Team? Email us at story.wheninmanila@gmail.com or send us a direct message at WhenInManila.com Facebook Page. Interact with the team and join the WhenInManila.com Community at WIM Squad! We also share our stories on Viber, join us!

Categories
News

Bihar’s Awaraiya-Barai tola village adopts unique technique to drive off monkey menace

Express News Service

PATNA: Hundreds of villagers, facing monkey menace for last 20 years, have now adopted a unique way to scare-off the rampaging monkeys in Awaraiya-Barai tola village under Chanpatia block of Bihar’s West Champaran district.

They trap the monkeys in cages made with bamboos on the trolleys of tractors and chase them off from villages wearing dresses of bears. The villagers have so far trapped more than 85 monkeys in the bamboos cages, made on the trolleys and handed over to the forest department.

“Not only this, we have bought four sets of bear-dresses from Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh at the cost of Rs 12000 – collected from villagers. Now, villagers have started chasing off the monkeys during daytime disguising themselves as bears,” said Milan Kumar, a youth of thes village.

Infact, villagers recall having spotted five to six monkeys, being let off here by some unknown persons in 20 years ago. “In the last 20 years, their population has increased to over 2000. Since 2010, with a rise in their population, monkeys have started wrecking havoc on the lives of people, by damaging crops and household items,” Milan Kumar said.

Scared of these monkeys, villagers had knocked the doors of local politicians and others for help to get rid of this menace. “But none of them have heeded to ours request so far. Finally, we have adopted our
own ways to get relief from the monkey menace now. We are trapping them daily and handing over to the forest department,” Bablu Kumar, another youth said.

The farmers of these areas have stopped the cultivation of sugarcanes and other crops just because of the monkeys, who uproot and damage the crops in herds. Also, dozens of villagers including women and children have been attacked and injured by the monkeys so far.

This village is surrounded by dense bushes and greenery that help the monkeys in taking shelters and breeding the population. “They have become so rude and boldly invade houses during cooking times and snatch away pots with foods and edible items,” Milan Kumar said.

However, villagers said that when youths, disguising as bears, go to chase away the monkeys from human habitat areas, street dogs start posing threats to them considering them as bears. “Dogs attempt to injure the youths but some villagers have to chase the dogs also with sticks in hands to safeguard the youths in bear dresses,” one of the villagers said.

This monkey menace has started spreading in other adjoining villages namely Kuartola, Tiwary tola and others. Villagers have appealed to Bihar CM Nitish Kumar to take an urgent step to save the villages from this menace of simians. “If the government fails to take any step in this regard, we will boycott the voting also in the upcoming assembly elections,” warned the villagers.

When contacted, forest ranger Dinesh Paswan said that monkeys trapped and handed over the forest department by villagers were let off in the Manguraha forest areas, near the Indo-Nepal border.

Categories
News

Cornish monkey sanctuary faces uncertain future as it remains closed

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 6:47am 13th August 2020.

Wild Futures in Looe is home to 40 primates rescued from abuse and neglect in the UK pet trade.

Covid-19 is causing devastation all across the world, and like many others, Wild Futures Monkey Sanctuary is struggling as a result of this pandemic and is facing one of their toughest years to date.  

The team says they can’t open as the site is too small to implement Covid safety measures.

The charity will lose around £40,000 of income from July and August alone, after months of struggling through lockdown.

Bosses say the vital income helps the see the sanctuary through the winter when funds are low, and fear they might not have enough money to see them through to next year.

Wild Futures Monkey Sanctuary

“Since July’s announcement of lockdown easing, people are trying to navigate back to ‘normal’ life and many other zoos and sanctuaries are opening their doors to the public again.

“Unfortunately for Wild Futures’ Monkey Sanctuary, that is not the case and things remain very much as they were at the start of lockdown.

“Due to our size and location, we cannot implement safety measures for Covid-19 effectively enough to guarantee the safety of the public and monkeys if we were to open our doors. Therefore we have made the very difficult, but essential decision to remain closed which means we are still without vital income.

“During the months of July and August we would normally expect to generate around £40,000 in income from our visitors alone.

“This vital income helps see us through the winter when funds are low.

“We are currently facing the prospect of at least a year without our usual income sources, and therefore we are in serious threat of not having enough money to see us safely through to next year.”

Sarah Hanson, Supporter Relations Manager at Wild Futures

Wild Futures Monkey Sanctuary

“Our visitor income is a crucial form of funding for our charity and to continue the care of the monkeys.

“Sadly we are looking at not being able to open our doors to visitors at all this year which is going to have huge financial ramifications on the charity.

“We need to be realistic about the future and ongoing effect of the virus as the monkeys are particularly vulnerable.

“We need to be creative as we look ahead but meanwhile we desperately need help to try and raise some of the income we are losing, as we are struggling to find enough available options and must try to make up the shortfall in other ways.”

Rachel Hevesi, Director of Wild Futures

You can help support the Wild Futures Monkey Sanctuary here.

Categories
News

Portrait of a Monkey Sitting on Tree Branch in the Jungle.

Use in an unlimited number of end products, free or commercial. May be used with different clients, but not for on-demand customization products or services. The total price includes the item price and a buyer fee.

License details | Why buy with Envato

Categories
News

Drive-In Sloth, Monkey Zoo Coming To Alameda County Fairgrounds

a monkey sitting on top of a grass covered field: Lemurs and a baboon will be there for the fun. © Shutterstock Lemurs and a baboon will be there for the fun.

PLEASANTON, CA — A drive-in safari adventure will be held Sunday at the Alameda County Fairgrounds, with proceeds benefiting Bay Area wildlife organizations.

“Come on our and hang with the sloths or just monkey around,” organizers said.

There will be lemurs — who “like to ‘move it, move it'” just like in the “Madagascar” movie, they wrote. Tickets are $35 here.

Social distancing measures will be in place.

Wild About Monkeys shows will be held at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Safari Encounters shows will be held at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Categories
News

Monkey business afoot in Cork wildlife park as escaped ape leads staff on wild goose chase

THERE WAS pandemonium at a Cork wildlife park yesterday as a cheeky monkey made a break for it.

Rare roloway monkey Valentino led staff on a wild goose– er, monkey– chase throughout Fota Wildlife Park yesterday after it made a dash for freedom and escaped its enclosure.

The ape sped through the crowds gathered at the park, followed closely by staff on golf carts and with nets, giving visitors a real glimpse into a wildlife chase usually only seen in David Attenborough documentaries.

Advertisement

Visitors to the park were told to remain inside as staff closed the main exits to prevent Valentino from escaping into the true wilderness of the Cork countryside, but the chase eventually came to an end with the recapture of the daring ape.

A spokesman for Fota Wildlife Park told Cork Beo that the protocols in place for escapes were activated, and neither the monkey nor the visitors were in any danger.

He told the outlet:

“One of our residents, a male Roloway monkey, Valentino, made a brief escape from his habitat here at Fota Wildlife Park.

“Our escape protocols and procedures were immediately implemented by Fota Wildlife Park’s animal ranger team.

“Valentino was continually under observation by the animal rangers and was quickly coaxed into a secure holding pen and returned safely to his island habitat. At no time was he in danger, or a threat to any visitors or members of the public.”

Advertisement

Monkey business: Valentino led staff on a wild goose chase through the grounds of Fota Wildlife Park (Getty)

Native to areas in Ghana and the Ivory Coast, roloway monkeys are critically endangered and are acknowledged as being the rarest ape species in the world.

There are understood to be only 300 roloway monkeys left in the wild, and just 36 in captivity, including Valentino.

Fota Wildlife Park’s conservation efforts are helping to keep the species alive– but Valentino’s daring antics are certainly keeping them on their toes.

Categories
News

Monkey Bars Fidget Toy

Looking for a unique fidget toy? Monkey Bars offer up lots of fun for your fingertips. They feature a patented design which uses bent stainless steel pins that turn and slide as you play with their aluminum handles. Their first model, the 2020-R has grooved handles as shown in the video.

Categories
News

Monkey and her baby curiously investigate hidden camera

Monkeys are among the most curious creatures on earth. When a troop of monkeys and their babies stopped to enjoy some leaves and other food along the edge of the bush in Costa Rica, they also discovered a small camera had been fastened to a tree. As they ate and rested, they began to investigate this curious object. They poked, prodded, bit, and licked the camera with intense curiosity.

Monkeys are among the most intelligent creatures in the wild and they learn quickly from watching others. We can see the baby monkey doing just that as he watches his mother closely and imitates her every move. As she nibbles leaves, he does the same. He bites sticks, as she does, and when she peers into the camera lens, he follows along as well.

Spider monkeys are highly social, living in troops of up to 40 individuals. They live most of their life in the canopy of the forest but they come to the ground to forage for food and to explore.

Spider monkeys make use of lime tree leaves mixed with saliva to repel insects. Very few animals are capable of such problem-solving skills. They are also known to have complex communication, using different noises to sound alarms, find individuals, or to alert other monkeys to a food source. They are also capable of using non vocal communication such as tail position and head shaking, making their ability to communicate even more sophisticated and complex. Possessing excellent memory skills, they are the third most intelligent nonhuman primate.

Monkeys are prey for large cats, eagles, and large snakes, but habitat loss and harvest by humans for the pet trade has affected their numbers to the point of them being an endangered species. To lose these adorable and important animals would be beyond tragic.

Categories
News

Monkey escapes enclosure at Irish zoo

Aug. 11 (UPI) — A monkey escaped its enclosure at a zoo in Ireland and led zookeepers riding golf carts on a chase through the facility before being recaptured.

Visitors to the Fota Wildlife Park in Cork said the zoo was put on temporary lockdown Tuesday when a monkey escaped from its closure and ran through crowds of onlookers while being pursued by zookeepers in golf carts.

Advertisement

A zoo spokesman confirmed the exits were blocked while staff pursued the primate, a male roloway monkey named Valentino.

“Valentino was continually under observation by the animal rangers and was quickly coaxed into a secure holding pen and returned safely to his island habitat. At no time was he in danger, or a threat to any visitors or members of the public,” the spokesman told CorkBeo.com.

The zoo did not disclose how Valentino managed to get out of his enclosure.