You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Hail to the Chimp

At first blush, "Hail to the Chimp" looks like a promising mix of edgy political humor with multiplayer party gaming mayhem. But the resulting mashup is a chaotic jumble that doesn't play well and is only loosely is tied to politics at all.

At first blush, “Hail to the Chimp” looks like a promising mix of edgy political humor with multiplayer party gaming mayhem. But the resulting mashup is a chaotic jumble that doesn’t play well and is only loosely is tied to politics at all. The minigames are too long and incorporate too many elements at once to make for good group play, the humor is disjointed and juvenile, and a few of the characters even lean into questionable stereotypes. “Hail to the Chimp” has about as much of a chance of success as a Dennis Kucinich presidential campaign.

It’s not unreasonable to expect more from a self-styled “presidential party game” called “Hail to the Chimp” — complete with Bushesque cartoon monkey on the package — especially considering it’s the work of Gamecock, the self-styled rebel independent publisher that held a mock funeral for E3 during the confab’s radical downsizing and move to Santa Monica last year. Seems like the perfect formula for witty, shamelessly anti-establishment satire.

But there’s hardly anything political about “Hail to the Chimp,” save for the over-elaborate and largely nonsensical window-dressing of an animal-kingdom election that’s hung slapdash on a rather boring and annoying series of minigames.

The game’s interface resembles a CNN-style news broadcast, with supposedly funny ticker headlines scrolling beneath, as anthropomorphic animal news anchors explain amid lame-duck jokes that the “Lion King” has been dethroned and the animals have decided to hold an election. Players pick a candidate creature and then go at it in various minigames either vs. the computer in campaign mode or head-to-head with local or online buddies.

There’s really nothing at all electoral about the minigames aside from stage names like “The Watergates” and “Political Machine.” In many cases, the 16 different games overlap so much that it’s hardly worth choosing one over the other — all of them have a polar bear, sloth, hippo and other animal candidates competing to collect googly eyed clams, which inexplicably represent votes, or voters, or something like that.

One could overlook the fact that “Hail to the Chimp” isn’t really a political party game if it were just a good party game. But in addition to lasting far too long, the minigames are chaotic, repetitive, and completely unclear in options and objectives. For example, while a player is trying to fill up his or her mailbox with clams, why can that player suddenly team up with a rival who just stole clams from them? In the middle of trying to “hack the vote” by smashing voting machines, why are clams falling from the sky? It’s mystifying and too often just devolves into onscreen chaos.

Perplexingly, a lot of effort seemed to have gone to applying wackiness to the premise, but none of the details ever assemble coherently. It’s ultimately the sort of disjointed humor that third-graders would giggle at. What’s worse, the animal characters attempt to emulate cultural stereotypes — vaguely amusing when it’s New York or Seattle personalities, not so much when it’s a Japanese-accented Samurai octopus or a greasy-haired armadillo with a Mexican accent.

Hail to the Chimp

Production: A Gamecock presentation of a game developed by Wideload Games for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. Reviewed on Xbox 360. Rated T. $40

More Digital

  • Google Home entryway

    NPR Has Turned 'Wait Wait... Don’t Tell Me' Into a Game for Smart Speakers

    NPR has turned its popular “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!” news quiz show into an interactive game for smart speakers: Owners of speakers powered by Google’s Assistant or Amazon Alexa will be able to play along to questions about the news of the week. Just like the radio show, the quiz is being hosted by [...]

  • WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01

    BritBox Subscribers Hit Half a Million

    The number of subscribers to BritBox has hit 500,000, the streaming service said Thursday. The platform, launched as a collaboration between BBC Studios and ITV, is designed to offer U.S. and Canadian viewers the best of recent and classic British television content. The streaming service launched in the U.S. in March 2017 with a host of [...]

  • Andy Yeatman - Moonbug

    Andy Yeatman, Former Netflix Head of Kids Content, Lands at Startup Moonbug (EXCLUSIVE)

    Andy Yeatman has joined children’s entertainment startup Moonbug Entertainment to oversee North America operations, after he exited Netflix a little over a year ago. Moonbug, dual-headquartered in London and L.A., has set out on a mission to acquire “fun and safe” kids’ entertainment properties and develop new content and businesses based on them. Yeatman, as head [...]

  • Sony Innovation Fund Invests in Location

    Sony Invests in Geolocation Startup Used to Shoot ‘Ready Player One’

    Sony’s venture capital arm, the Sony Innovation Fund, has invested in London-based What3words, a geolocation startup that aims to provide human-readable and easily shareable names for each and every location on the planet. What3words was previously used to share locations for the production of Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One,” and has also had cameos in [...]

  • Netflix and Amazon on Different Sides

    Netflix and Amazon Take Different Sides on Content Regulation in India

    Netflix and other leading streaming video platforms have signed an agreement to self-regulate content in the booming Indian market. But Amazon and Facebook are so far sitting out. The new “Code of Best Practices for Online Curated Content Providers,” created by the Internet and Mobile Assn. of India, has been signed by Netflix, Hotstar, Sony Liv, [...]

  • A view of the SK Telecom

    Korean OTT Players, SK Telecom Join Forces to Compete Against Netflix

    South Korea’s three major broadcasters KBS, MBC and SBS have joined forces with the country’s leading telecom firm, SK Telecom, to launch a new video streaming platform. The move is regarded as a defensive reaction against the growing influence of foreign competitors, lead by Netflix. The broadcasters already jointly own Pooq, with MBC and SBS [...]

  • Magic leap Is Hiring to Build

    Magic Leap Plans to Expand to Mobile AR

    Magic Leap is getting ready to embrace augmented reality (AR) on mobile devices. The company is currently looking to hire a senior software engineer for mobile AR, who will be tasked with “expanding Magic Leap’s platform to mobile devices,” according to a new job listing. A Magic Leap spokesperson declined to comment. Magic Leap released [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content