Created By Adam de la Pena
Starring Adam de la Pena Andrew Sipes
South Park started many years ago utilizing a barebones animation style out of necessity of the creators more than being gimmicky. The show did however make fun of its limited animation style and utilized it (and still does) for episode plots making the series quite meta. Just when you thought a series couldn’t be more meta along comes Code Monkeys, a show about game developers animated in the old 8 bit videogame style, and airs on a network heavily focused on videogames.
The show is focused on Dave and Jerry, two game programmers that work for a company that was bought from Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak by a Texan named Larrity. These characters are built on some fairly heavy handed stereotypes especially Larrity who is a classic Looney Toons Cowboy. The show is not only animated in a retro game style it actually has the feel of playing a game with a pause screen that comes up on ad breaks and a Game Over screen appearing at the end of each episode, There are even meters on the screen that count points and monitor health for the characters.
This is definitely a series for videogame fans, so much so that non-gamers should just pass on the series altogether. Code Monkeys is set in the 80’s and while there are some nongaming references made the majority of the funny stuff is tied directly to games from that era. There are even sequences where developers come into the offices to pitch games to the company that viewers/gamers of the 80’s will be very familiar with only to see those successful games get shut down by the company.
Code Monkeys attempts to do the same thing that shows like South Park and Family Guy have done, combine low brow humor, pop culture references, and some smart commentary to create the basis of the show. Although South Park and Family Guy are much smarter and broader than Code Monkeys there is a good deal of fun to be had here for the hardcore gaming fan. This series won’t be a classic but for the right fans it’ll be a good time.
The video presentation here is pretty basic, purposefully so but it doesn’t seem to suffer at all from compression issues or artifacting. It looks exactly as it is supposed too.
Again, the audio presentation here is extremely basic but the dialogue, score, and sound effects are cleanly mixed. Some of the sounds are a bit distorted but nothing that will be too distracting.
The Packaging and Bonus Features
The two disc set is presented in a fairly slim amaray case with artwork taken from the ads for the series. It’s not that eye catching unfortunately but it gets the job done.
There are two featurettes focused on series creator Adam de la Pena. The first is a basic interview where he discusses the shows inception, artistic decisions, the cast, guest stars and other interesting bits of information. The second featurettes follows Adam around the production offices. It’s fun but too short.
“Gaming Tips with Kristin Holt” is a short where the host of G4’s Cheat! Offers some hints to the games programmed by Dave and Jerry. It’s worth one watch but you won’t return to it on future viewings of the series.
There’s a prank montage, a couple of mock videogame commercials, and a couple of DVD-Rom mini games. Overall the bonus materials here are minimal but there’s more than I would have expected.
The audience for Code Monkeys is limited, but for those fans it’s a good time.
Overall (Not an Average) 6.5/10
The Season 7/10
The Video 8/10
The Audio 7/10
The Packaging and Bonus Features 5/10
Overall (Not an Average) 6.5/10