The Game: An elaborate game of tag, only the simian players have an advantage; human players, when tagged, must be “un-tagged” by the other player to return to the game. (Magnavox, 1980)
Memories: This was the first attempt to mine the “ladder-climbing” style of games – i.e. Donkey Kong for the Odyssey2, and it wasn’t all that successful. Oh, it had levels you could jump up or down on, and it had monkeys, but it wasn’t quite in the same genre.
Two players have to tag one of four monkeys – or each other – to score points in a game of tag that really goes nowhere. The best variation on Monkeyshines! was an option in which the entire maze of monkey bars would slide up the screen constantly, which could knock monkeys or unwitting players down several levels if they weren’t careful.
My usual response to playing Monkeyshines for any period of time longer than five minutes – at least in my experience – was: “Why am I wasting my time with this instead of playing K.C. Munchkin?” However, this might be because I never really experienced the game in all of its two-player glory with the right player two. I can see where this might’ve been a real hoot with the right players.