You Are Not A Banana Review

Screenshot of You Are Not A Banana
Kids, don't do this at home
  • Reviewed by: Mark Goninon
  • Developer: Brian Cullen
  • Publisher: Fluxscopic Ltd.
  • Release Date: 20 February 2015
  • Time played: 50 minutes

Whenever I played this game on Steam, I always received messages from my friends questioning me “WTF are you playing?” or something along those lines. As usual, I’ve got the generous Mix-Master to thank for all these awesome, random, indie titles, so thanks again mate!

So how would someone describe this game? The developer describes it as a “short form experimental game” with “a sequence of thought provoking events and surprises”. While he’s correct about it being short and experimental, the “thought provoking” part is going to be subjective I think. In the game, you play the role of a guy who needs some milk for his cereal and he is not a banana (although you do get to play as a banana at one point). On your quest for milk, you’ll have to overcome several obstacles in the form of mini-games and by simply exploring. The game evokes the feel of the 80s and 90s, by looking and sounding like an old SNES game or JRPG although don’t let that fool you; this game is anything but one of those games from yesteryear.

What I like:


Surreal adventure

The game is about an ordinary guy and a trip to the shops, which doesn’t exactly sound like an adventure at all right? Well, your character encounters some pretty weird, almost Pythonesque situations along the way which means you’ll always be on your toes, wondering what’s around the next corner.

Retro graphics

Retro pixelart graphics aren’t for everyone but I quite like it.

Music

I love chiptune music and this game doesn’t disappoint in that department. They even offer the soundtrack for free. Choice!

Steam Trading Cards

The game has Steam Trading Cards but how on Earth you’ll play the game long enough to generate them is beyond me.

A giant snail and La donna รจ mobile

Best part of the game.

What I dislike:


Short

The game will take you under half an hour to complete, maybe even fifteen minutes if you’re good at the mini-games. Also, since the plot seems to be quite linear I’m not sure if there’s much point replaying the game, further reducing its value.

Dead-ends

The first time I played this game I missed out on a subtle hint resulting in me wandering in a graveyard forever. What I didn’t realise is that, just like oldschool Sierra adventure games, I had reached a dead-end without knowing it. While some might be a fan of this kind of game design, I’m definitely not.

No ability to save

The game is so short that you probably don’t really need a save feature but it would’ve been nice to have. Thankfully, it seems that the developer is looking at implementing this feature soon with You Are Not A Banana: Better Edition

Finding things in the dark mini-game

There’s a mini-game you’ll encounter which involves finding things in the dark by bumping into furniture and walls. I always find it takes me a lot of time to have any success with them and it turns out to be a bit of a chore.

Score – 6/10 (Okay)


As far as short, experimental games though, this is one of the more entertaining ones I've played. However the mini-games can be frustrating at times plus you can quite easily stumble across a dead-end without even knowing it, meaning the score for this game has suffered as a result.

Is the game worth $1.99 USD?: Yes. Despite being able to complete the game in under half an hour it was entertaining and $2 really isn’t that much. Besides, Brian Cullen has promised to provide a free update soon that will add a lighting system, save option, dialogue system, improved mini-games and jokes.

If you like this game, you might like…

[ LINK: Official You Are Not a Banana Website ]

Comments

  1. Great review, thanks a lot for this info. I really like an old console games. I even downloaded some of them here https://romsmania.com/roms/super-nintendo and spent a lot of time playing it with my friends from my childhood. You may also try it.

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