Sometimes you just don’t want to be human, right? You want to perhaps be a banana? Well too bad, because You Are Not a Banana.
You Are Not a Banana is a short game about a man who goes on a quest to get milk. You’ll have to deal with your bike being stolen, getting lost in a graveyard, and going to an art museum. You’ll run into some weird mini-games during all that, but ultimately you just want to get your milk home.
The game is a bit confusing off the bat. You’re presented with a typical title screen and you’re just like, okay, I’ll hit start. You are now playing as a banana. Unfortunately, you don’t stay a banana for very long and are promptly sent back to the title screen. Eventually, the game points you in the right direction – quite literally points you – so that you can actually start playing. That’s the last point this game ever has anything to actually do with a banana.
You’re presented with the first puzzle as soon as you start – you need to turn off your neighbors music so you can find your keys. Apparently the only way to find your keys is to bump into all the furniture in your apartment with your eyes closed. Sure, okay. Typically I look for my keys with my eyes open and by actually looking through stuff, but if that’s how you want to find them!
After you find your keys, you need to go to the store. Unfortunately, you forgot the combination on your bike and need to take a power nap to remember it. To get the combination, you need to avoid the pixel of doom in your dream. Uh-huh, okay. I typically just remember my combinations but okay, I guess that’s one way to “remember” it.
The entire game plays out oddly like this. You have very little direction in what you actually need to do. And then when you are onto something, an odd mini-game comes up. The bike mini-game, especially the second one, is just… weird. When you get to the graveyard, you can get completely lost if you don’t have your sound on – sound which I had turned down low after that key finding stuff. This really doesn’t speak well to the sound, but hey, hope you like listening for a fast heartbeat in the graveyard – a graveyard that goes on infinitely and is very easy to get lost in!
The graphic style is pretty pixely, which does work I suppose. Unfortunately, since it also allowed you to move in all directions – probably part of being in Unity – it lost what could’ve been a nice little throwback to older games. Moving in all directions and pixel graphics just don’t seem right to me, but perhaps I’ve played other games in the past that were like this and just don’t remember them.
Finally, I hope you have an hour or so to set aside to play this. You Are Not a Banana doesn’t have a way to save it. The developer has acknowledged this, and is implementing a save system in their next game. So sadly, as it stands, you’ll need to find the time to set aside to play this in one sitting. It’s not really a game that lends itself well to replaying either, so you’re likely to be very encouraged if you need to stop midway.
You Are Not a Banana feels like a bit of a mess of mini-games and like a bit of a lack of focus. I still don’t understand the concept of bumping into everything to try and find your keys after having to turn off your neighbor’s music to hear them. I was also hoping that there’d be more with bananas, but all there is is that choice where you can start as one but get booted out. I know I’m not a banana, but at least let me play as one for more! Oh right, the milk is more important, when you actually remember about it anyways, which is some time after you’ve wandered a giant graveyard and gone to an art museum.
You Are Not a Banana Review Score