The Monkey Go Happy series is well known for being on the quirkier side of the point-and-click puzzle game world, blending some unusual and outrageous puzzle-like situations with the wonderfully absurd theme of preventing almost-sobbing monkeys from being sad by solving the aforementioned puzzles and making the monkeys happy. Monkey Go Happy: The Castle is yet another puzzling offering from Pencil Kids that brings back the familiar, tricky predicaments, only this time in a mini-adventure format where you must explore the surrounding areas instead of solving separate, unconnected puzzles for no reason at all.
The gameplay in Monkey Go Happy: The Castle is effectively identical in format to how it has always been. Your task is simply to solve a variety of mini puzzles and predicaments by evaluating each individual situation and using the mouse to point and click on whichever objects and items you may feel are relevant to furthering your progress. All you really have to do is spend a little bit of time thinking about how the various objects on the screen can be used and deducing which order they must be used in to get closer to completing the task at hand. You are allowed to choose between a selection of monkeys to proceed through the game with, though as usual these are purely aesthetic and give the illusion of variety when they actually have no bearing on the way you solve the puzzles whatsoever.
The main feature that distinguishes this game from the Monkey Go Happy norm is the fact that there is some semblance of a storyline in this one; an evil scientist is said to have kidnapped fifteen baby monkeys and transformed them into tiny flying gargoyles, and it is your mission to rescue each and every one of these monkeys by getting into the castle and exploring its grounds. The castle itself is the focal point of the adventure which provides the perfect setting for an explorative format, offering justification for the presence of various puzzles in the game instead of the usual ‘unrelated and unexplained’ puzzles that form the basis of most Monkey Go Happy titles.
Monkey Go Happy: The Castle is a hugely enjoyable re-jigging of a format that was becoming a little repetitive. The ability to explore the castle and the task of solving various puzzles in order to progress through the castle and rescue all of the monkeys gives you more of a purpose than the previous titles. The graphics aren’t vastly improved, with the illustrations and general design remaining as they always have been. This is best described as a simple yet short puzzle game in what is on the whole an original set of fun monkey games, only this time with a bit more scope for storyline than before, and it as enjoyable as it has ever been.