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The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both cynical cash-in and jolly time-suck

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.

Monty Python's The Ministry of Silly Walks app has you traversing, jumping, flying and ducking obstacles. Credit: Provided Monty Python's The Ministry of Silly Walks app has you traversing, jumping, flying and ducking obstacles.
Credit: Provided

The Ministry of Silly Walks
Platform(s): iOS, Android
Price: 99 cents

The remaining members of Monty Python have never been above drilling their back catalogue for quick cash, even as they make fun of themselves for doing it. It’s a brilliant move, endlessly repackaging “Holy Grail” and Spam jokes, particularly since about 75 percent of their original “Flying Circus” show is, for the masses, alienatingly weird. (Surely only a few of us would up be up for a good “Storage Jars” reworking.)

Among the sketches to which they undyingly return is “Silly Walks,” in which an otherwise poised and bureaucratic John Cleese caterwauls about urban environs, busting out ridiculous moves that will be copied by nerds and the nerdish. Like “The Parrot Sketch,” it has (limited) crossover appeal. And sure enough, Python has brought it over to the realms of apps.

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Not all of Python’s rehashes have been successful; some have been downright lazy. The Ministry of Silly Walks is definitely lazy. But it’s also charming. The sketch has become a game, and the game is a slight riff on the runner game fad. You control a strolling silly walker who only stops when he runs into things in his ever-straight path: thoughtlessly placed boxes, massive oil spills, broken light fixtures inexplicably dangling in the outdoors, jerkish pigeons.

And that’s it! Technically this is a cynical cash-in — using a name to lure you into doing something completely different. It’s also strangely fun and strangely hard, as the only object appears to see how long you can do this for without making a stupid mistake. The mentally agile will kill it in one go, but for dumb people who don’t mind being ripped off by comic geniuses once again, it’s a jolly time-suck.

Follow Matt Prigge on Twitter @mattprigge

 
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