I hate it when people misuse the term “Metroidvania”. That term was coined to express a cross between the explorative non-liner platforming action of Metroid and the whip action of Castlevania. However these days “Metroidvania” tends to applied to any sidescroller where you do anything besides strict travel to the right hand side of the screen.
Adventure Apes and the Mayan Mystery is NOT a Metroidvania game. More accurately, it’s a Metroid style game with Monkeys. As far as gameplay is concerned, this is a side scrolling exploration game. Jump, shoot, find the next component to increase your abilities and thus open more areas. (I.E. jump higher etc etc)
Graphically, this is a really cool looking game. The monkey as a main character is a lot of fun and the cut scene art is really well done as well. The background art reminds me a lot of Jill of the Jungle. In the visual aspect, I think the developer, Scary Potato, achieved exactly what he was going for.
There were some major issues I ran into though. For one, there is no limit to the amount of bullets the player can have on the screen at one time. Because of this, as long as you have a quick trigger finger, you can make an endless lazer of damage flow across the screen. This can easily be exploited with Joy2Key. Yes, ammo is limited but every kill will provide either a health or ammo bonus so ammo depletion is a non-issue.
Also, the default key for jump is up on the arrow pad. I was able to fix this by playing with a gamepad and using Joy2Key to bind a joystick button to up. The problem is if you plan to play with the keyboard, all of your movement during platform segments will be performed with your right hand. I am left handed. For this reason I can’t play this game with the keyboard.
Overall, Adventure Apes and the Mayan Mystery is not going to rock your world but I really like the concept behind the game and I think it might be worth a try if enjoy Metroid style games and have a USB gamepad for your computer. The full retail version is 2.99. I would say this game is fully worth three bucks. Go check it out.
Cheers to Scary Potato for making this game. I hope you keep at it.