2021 has already lasted for six months in less than two weeks, but amidst the roller coaster of carnage something wonderful has emerged. A fangame genre hybrid from developer “Nickireda,” Return to Castle Monkey Ball, was released yesterday and is exactly what it sounds like.
Return to Castle Monkey Ball is the Light in 2021’s Darkness
Yes, this interplanetary genius has combined the iD Software classic Return to Castle Wolfenstein with Sega’s lowkey brilliant puzzle/physics catastrophe, Super Monkey Ball. The result is eight procedurally-generated levels of the legendary B.J. Blazkowicz rolling around the infamous Nazi fortress in a ball, collecting banannas and bowling over enemy soldiers on his way.
If you want to try it out, you can! Nickireda has the game up for free on their itch.io page, where you can play Return to Castle Monkey Ball right in your browser. It’s tough to adjust to, to say the least, but I was able to get through a (low difficulty) run after a few tries.
Not only is this project hilarious, it’s a pretty clever application of these two disparate worlds smashed together, and taking out enemies to extend your timer is a surprisingly crucial and stimulating challenge. Even if the prospect of mastering this game causes jolts of pain in your finger joints, I absolutely recommend giving it a whirl.
Sometimes you just stumble over something ridiculous, and it’s the perfect thing to distract you from the world’s madness for a bit and even force a smile on your face. In this week’s turmoil especially, Return to Castle Monkey Ball was exactly what I needed at this moment.
And hey, all the obvious Nazi imagery has been cleaned out of Return to Castle Wolfenstein’s assets here, in order to make this small slice of gaming silliness streamable.