With a title like Derpy Conga I wasn’t totally sure what to expect from this game. I had concerns that this would be a silly pointless, yet fun, game without much challenge. Instead, I found a brightly-coloured game with a goofy-looking monkey creature that you play as. This silly-looking character — derpy you may say — was looking through his telescope and saw a meteor hurtling towards his planet. He has to warn everyone on the planet of the hazard that is quickly flying towards them so they can escape before the imminent impact.
The residents don’t have names, so I’ll call the main monkey Yellowtail since that’s how you can tell it apart from the other monkeys. You run around the island gathering up all your neighbours, like the real-life game Barrel of Monkeys, all connecting hands and making a chain. The chain gets hard to control very fast, so I would try to make sure Yellowtail was always in the middle. As long as Yellowtail can make it to the next platform or across the bridge, all the other monkeys will get dragged along.
There are buttons to use on your controller to help keep the monkeys and other creatures that you meet on your journey under control. ZR makes everyone line up straight, and then (once you learn the ability) ZL will have everyone form a circle. This will be useful when you need to solve puzzles around the island and move platforms and pillars around to make new areas accessible to the monkeys. If you find that you are stuck and not sure where to go next, just look around, because chances are there is an object that can be moved or a puzzle to solve that will lead you to the next area. There is even a puzzle that requires you to move a ball in a specific pattern — that is drawn on a sign — to open a locked door. It is challenging to get all the characters moving together the right way to move the ball to recreate the drawing, but it’s definitely not impossible!
As you travel around to the other islands on your planet you will meet new creatures you have to save. Apparently, everyone in this world gets along quite well because they don’t hesitate to join the chain. Soon the line that started as six monkeys becomes a ridiculously long chain of more than twelve members. The funny part is some face the same direction as Yellowtail, and others are running around backwards. If your main monkey isn’t in the middle and it’s making it hard to control everyone, you have the option to switch the leader of the group by hitting the R button, which may make it easier for you to navigate. If you need to jump across a few platforms and find you are missing the jumps, try putting everyone into a circle and timing it so the characters closer to the edge jump first — the other members of the chain will all be dragged onto the platform if they miss. Once all the creatures in the world are saved you travel in your spaceship to other planets in your galaxy to find a new home, having mechanical issues with your ship and having to make a crash landing at your first destination; it’s a good thing everyone packed a parachute!
The graphics of the game are bright and colourful, reminding me of a game on the N64, but polished and updated. There are times when vegetation like huge leaves will block your view so you might have to move a bit so you can see where you are going. The alien creatures and monkeys are all cute and look incredibly happy, especially considering their world is about to be destroyed. Guess that’s why they are called derpy, they aren’t the brightest crayons in the box. But with your help they can all work together to solve the puzzles presented to them, all while singing and humming; these characters are damn cute.
Derpy Conga has many places to explore and puzzles to solve, so it will definitely keep you busy for a while. These puzzles are challenging when you have a line of characters to move around to the exact location you require them to be in. It can get frustrating, but hearing the cute music and the humming of the main character will make you smile. This is a game you should definitely check out if you enjoy games that require you to think in different ways than you are used to and it stars tons of happy characters that don’t question any of your decisions!
Derpy Conga (Reviewed on Nintendo Switch)
This game is great, with minimal or no negatives.
Derpy Conga is a challenging and satisfying puzzle game featuring a huge cast of derpy-looking characters, who chain together to explore and get past obstacles in their way.