I’ve posted about Jungle Rumble Freedom, Happiness & Bananas a couple of times now. Jungle Rumble being a rhythm / strategy game in which you guide a young bunch of heroic and well-meaning monkeys to defend their bananas from a nasty, and ne’er-do-well rival monkey troop. Jungle Rumble is also a level in Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex but that’s not important, just a free bit of info for you.
I downloaded the Jungle Rumble: Freedom, Happiness & Bananas app, launched it and gave it a darn good playing. First of all, here’s a game-play video which will give you a good idea of what Jungle Rumble is about
So there you are, a completely normal monkey (except with an innate, yet restricting sense of rhythm) collecting your bananas and coconuts and just generally doing monkey things, when a rival troop moves into your neighbourhood. Not only do these monkeys not understand the premise of ownership, stealing your troop’s bananas they also act threateningly, and get themselves the monkey equivalent of ASBO’s. Well there’s only so much you can stand and you take to the trees to defeat them and claim back your bananas, all while consistently maintaining a rhythm.
Every action you take to reclaim your bananas and defeat the rival troop is done by tapping the right parts of the screen at the right time. Though rather than being confined to tap just at the right time. You also need to figure out your strategy and perform the right tap combinations to make your monkeys do what you want.
For example to move your monkey, you would tap the monkey once, then the destination, then the monkey, then the destination again, all to the beat. To throw a coconut at the enemy, you would tap the monkey three times and then tap the enemy.
Before you’re thrown into the deep end with a new manoeuvre, there is a tutorial stage where you can practice the move and understand the context in which it would be used. Cos let’s be honest, you are going to need to practice these new manoeuvres, to get them into your memory if nothing else.
Being out with your timing for any one step will mean you have to start the manoeuvre again. You’ll lose valuable time that lowers your final score. However, the more moves you can chain together without screwing up, the more points you score when your monkeys reach their bananas.
This is the essence of the game-play. Each level builds upon your repertoire of moves, while for obvious reasons the levels increase in their complexity. With each level the hazards on each level increase, the rival monkeys will start moving around, you’ll need to group up to attack multiple monkeys with your coconuts. You need to understand and generate a strategy quickly, and perform the moves flawlessly. Timing really is everything.
I’m not going to lie to you; it’s not one of the most relaxing games I’ve ever played. I could feel my adrenaline pumping, and my fingers struggling to keep the timing because I was trying to anticipate when that rival monkey would reach me. However, just because a game is difficult, it doesn’t automatically make it a bad one. Far from it, when you finally get the timing right, or figure out the strategy and you complete the level there is that sense of achievement.
The timing is also quite unforgiving, you will need to be right on the money and tap exactly the right part of the screen. This leads to difficulties when trying to play in a moving environment such as on a bus. Keep completely screwing everything up when we turned a corner.
Regardless of Jungle Rumbles’ difficulty, the elements of strategy and rhythm have been merged together well, and the game is bright and cartoonish with a colour scheme stolen from the 1960’s.
- Interesting mix of rhythm and strategy
- Tutorials at each stage of game-play
- Bright and colourful
- Difficulty level could be too high for some
- Controls too precise for playing on the move
Rhythm games aren’t usually my thing, I have to be honest. I enjoyed Guitar Hero, but that was probably because of the whole guitar peripheral, and feeling like a rock-star thing. So personally, I can’t see me playing this over and over again, especially as most of my mobile gaming is done on the bus to work.
But if you want to try out Jungle Rumble: Freedom, Happiness & Bananas for yourself, you can download it from the Apple store by clicking this link.