Monkey Quest: Thunderbow by MTV Networks icon

Monkey Quest: Thunderbow ($0.99) by Nickelodeon combines physics with monkeys, monsters, and explosions. Intrigued yet?

While there are plenty of Angry Birds clones out in the App Store now, I found Monkey Quest: Thunderbow to be a worthy choice. The graphics are well done, there are cute little cutscenes, and most importantly – you’re a monkey with a taste for destruction with your Boom Bow, what’s not to like? Oh, and the heavy metal soundtrack really adds to the overall experience that is going on in this game. It reminds me of Trucks and Skulls Nitro.

There are three main areas that you will be able to have access to, with each of them having 10 levels and a different assortment of enemies. The first area is open, but the other two will require a certain amount of bananas, which you collect throughout levels, to unlock. Two more areas are coming soon.

Monkey Quest: Thunderbow by MTV Networks screenshot

As you play through the levels, Thunderbow will be on the far left hand side of the screen, and you will get an overview of the challenge that awaits you. You can swipe left-to-right on the bottom to zoom out, or right-to-left to zoom in. To aim, just drag on Thunderbow – you will see a trajectory line of where your arrow will go. Once you let go of the screen, you will fire off your Boom Bow in that direction.

Instead of typical arrows, Thunderbow uses weapons such as a carrot stick that explodes on impact, a hornet that can split up into four with a tap, a pineapple that splits up into multiple pieces in midair with a tap, and more. Each weapon type will explode, which will affect the surroundings, and, hopefully, blow up the little monsters that mock you. Also make sure to try and collect the bananas that are scattered throughout the levels. Some levels will give you multiple weapons to use – you can switch between them in any order, which offers a nice bit of freedom compared to other physics games.

To maximize your score, you should attempt to collect as many bananas as you can. You also get extra points for any remaining weapons left and even getting combos (get a chain reaction basically).

While the controls are simple, I had some problems with it. I wish that the game would utilize standard pinch gestures to zoom in and out, because it only feels more natural compared to the swiping gesture currently in place. I also had some issues while trying to aim – it just felt much harder to aim and release than other physics-based games. I feel that some more polish should be put into the controls. However, it’s still manageable in the current state, so long as you have a little patience.

Monkey Quest: Thunderbow by MTV Networks screenshot

There is even a bonus area that you can access, once you have met the minimum requirements. If you play the Monkey Quest Online Game, you can also import your personalized monkey and unlock items to use online.

Monkey Quest: Thunderbow also comes with Game Center integration for leaderboards and achievements. And there are plenty of achievements to obtain.

The main reason why I would keep coming back to this game, though, is because of the hysterical explosion effects. It’s just really fun to watch half of the stuff on the screen blow up or collapse. And seeing this happen while a heavy metal soundtrack is playing? Sold!

I hope that the developers will refine the controls in a future update, but in the meantime, the game is still tons of fun. Grab it while it’s on sale for a limited time ($0.99 for the iPhone version and $1.99 for the iPad version).