Have you ever wondered what would happen if some sort of scandal forced the Lion was forced to step down as the King of Beasts? Well if Hail to the Chimp is to be believed it would be a slapstick comedy, party game that has all sorts of colorful characters campaigning to take the throne. You've got a Platypus childrens' show host, a spiritualist Walrus who worships the words of a radio and a jive talkin' Hippo among a number of others all who think they know what's best for the animal kingdom and are willing to fight for it.
To take the throne of the animal kingdom you're going to have to compete in a number of primaries that take place across a number of locations. Each location has some sort of peculiar nature to it, from an active volcano filling with lava to a snowcapped mountain with rolling boulders. There are also a number of different activities to take part in on each of these maps but honestly the variety doesn't add much to the game. It all boils down to collecting clams and doing something with them in each stage, that's about it.
Oh, yeah, clams. These little guys are apparent voters and the votes in the animal kingdom. Not really too sure how that works but honestly it's a game about talking animals who fight with bombs, teleporters and regularly burn up in lava. Realism isn't high on the agenda here.
The problem with all of this is that the game is just boring and repetitive. There are curses to add some spice to the combat and the stages themselves try to add things to make it more interesting. However it doesn't work in the slightest due to how simple the game itself is. Only one attack, one jump button and that's just about the extent of what's there to do. Oh sure you can team up with other characters for some amusing and devastating combo attacks but it's kind of too little too late since this is just a small patch on how boring the gameplay itself gets.
Where Hail to the Chimp succeeds is the presentation of the package in front of you. As befitting the setting the entirety of the game is set up as a television broadcast. You will hear a number of newscasters giving their input on your character, the preliminary that you're in currently and the other candidates at an almost non-stop pace. There are faux campaign ads, interviews, attack ads and even some random commercials thrown in to help attempt to immerse you in the world that they have crafted.
Helping bring you into the game even more is the quality of the newscasts and the voice acting. All of the graphics are bright and colorful, drawing your attention right to them and helping them stand out. The quality of the voice work is surprisingly high considering that this seems like a budget game in every other way. Everyone has a voice fitting their role and listening to the main newscaster is likely to give you flashbacks to the most boring newscasts you've ever seen with a bizarre and humorous twist due to some of the things he's talking about. Prey protesting meat eating stands out as one of the funnier ones.
If all you saw from Hail to the Chimp was some cut scenes and graphics for the game you'd think it had some promise and that's one of the problems, it does. It's plenty obvious that a lot of work was put into crafting the cut scenes and doing all of the voice work but not as much time was put into the game itself. Honestly if this game were taken back and reworked into a cartoon then I'm sure it would be plenty of fun for kids and adults alike due to all the double entendres but as it stands it's an amusing cartoon interrupted by bland game segments.