Monkey Puncher, released in December 2000 by Taito Corporation
, follows the exploits of a young child training a monkey to fight in organized boxing matches to save their family. Players must befriend their monkey friend with food before they can begin to train it the art of boxing. A variety of training exercises are available, including:
- Skipping, which increases speed;
- Using a punchbag, which increases power;
- Sit-ups, which increases strength;
- Running, which increases stamina;
- Sparring, which can improve all stats;
- Shopping, which improves knowledge.
It is possible to have more than one monkey at once. The monkey learns to skip, punch, do sit-ups and run by watching and copying the actions of the player, who performs each action through a rhythm-based mini game. After enough teaching, the monkey will begin to imitate these actions without prompting and for longer periods of time. The player can send the monkey to buy items from the store to increase its knowledge and bring rare items back to the players house. Sparring creates a match between a computer-controlled opponent and the monkey, leading to a small increase of stats.
The monkey's stats all have a maximum limit. It is possible to have your monkeys "date", which replaces your first monkey with a new, baby monkey. depending on the partner paired with the original monkey, the baby monkey's maximum stats may be higher or lower. Further, a monkey with maxed out stats will produce a baby with much higher maximum stats.
Each activity within the game takes half a day, regardless of what is achieved. Every three days the player's monkey must enter an organized Monkey Boxing League fight. New monkeys are allowed a five day reprieve before being entered into their first test match in the league. If they fail this test match, they can try again in another five days. When the test matches are completed, the player is able to select from one of three different monkeys to fight, with at least one of them being stronger than yours. The stronger the opponent, the more money earned for defeating it. If the defeated monkey is at a better rank than the players monkey, the player's monkey gains a rank. Conversely, if the player loses a match against a lower ranked monkey, the player's monkey drops a rank. The player has no control over the monkey whilst fighting, but during the breaks between rounds may choose to refill either its health or stamina, as well as advising it strategies to use. Boxing matches are won by either a count or a KO. In the event of neither monkey KO'ing the other, the match is judged by the amount of health each monkey has.