(The version I played was a generic Dollar Store version of the game that can be had for less than three dollars, so the plastic quality might not be up to snuff with the MB version,however, the components of the item is the same.)
The object of Don't Monkey Around is to be the first to hang all of your platic monkeys on the tree without making the tree fall or the last person to place their monkey before the tree falls. The tree is attached by a magnet to the trunk so that every monkey needs to be placed in such a way that it is correctly balanced, including placing them on another monkey either by their hands, feet or tail.
The catch of the game is that on the included die, there are numbers that tell you how many monkeys you have to place (or take off) on your turn. The numbers are 1,2,3,4,-1 and -2. On the negative numbers you have to make sure you have that number of monkeys open without another persons being on it. There wasn't a rule for what happens if you don't have one open, so I made the house rule for my niece and little cousin that you lose your next turn if that happens.
There's really not much to the gameplay, but a child (who the game is intended for) does learn a bit about math and counting and a lot about balancing. In fact, after playing a few times, my niece has been making sure all of her dolls are sitting equally apart on the corners of the book she was using as a sun deck for them. When I asked her why she did that, "So the deck doesn't fall" was her response.
I have to give the makers of the game credit, Don't Monkey Around is a cute game. The included palm tree is nice looking for what it is and I can see it being used for more than just this game if a child has a lot of action figures or dolls. The monkeys themselves are bright and colorful, very reminiscent of the old "Barrel of Monkeys" with shortned arms, legs and tails although I'm sure they could be used the same way just by throwing them into a cup.
As nice as the pieces are individualy, when the game is going on it's even cuter when they are all together. There's just something in seeing all of those little plastic monkeys hanging on that gently swaying tree.
This is a game for kids. There's very little thinking involved, but it does require skill. It's nice to see a young one play a few times and keep getting better everytime as they understand how the balancing works more and more.
I'm glad I got this one for my niece. She enjoys it and you can see her pride come through as she is able to put more of her monkeys on the tree everytime she plays. As a kids game (which are harder to rate than a normal game IMO) I'd have to rate this one a solid 8, especially if you can get a group of kids that can work together and help each other out. It keeps their attention and teaches them something while they have fun, which is what the best kids games do.