Jungle Rumble: Freedom, Happiness, and Bananas
The first thought that bounded through my mind when I saw Jungle Rumble was “Well that looks adorable. It looks like a mellow little past time title. It’ll be a nice break in the action to review a colorful mobile game.” Up until I started playing Disco Pixel’s PlayStation Vita title, I didn’t know it was possible to be 2/3rds right about something.
Best described as a rhythmic-puzzler, Jungle Rumble introduces you to its stunningly festive world with a smooth progressive tutorial. The first thing step is to find yourself some headphones! While you can play the game with the regular Vita volume up, you’ll have a much more enjoyable and immersive experience while playing Jungle Rumble along with your favorite pair of ear buds. Playing with the volume you off is not a wise option given how heavily music focused it is. Thankfully the game has a killer soundtrack to accompany each level so listening isn’t much of a chore. The mechanics call for you to tap the PS Vita touch screen in a carefully timed pattern to move your monkeys to their bananas or hurl coconuts at your enemies. However, when you inevitably get stuck repeating a round while going for a gold rank you start noticing just how heavily looped the music is which ruins the illusion of its diversity.
The story that drives the game forward is a classic fight of good and evil. Good monkey tribe is suddenly being invaded by bad monkey tribe and first order of business is to secure their main food source! How do they do that? By hammering their enemies with coconuts in an epic battle across the jungle’s tree line! Second order of business is to find out why a war has broken out and you discover why the further you play.
The game is fun but not without its flaws. There were several times where the game would skip, usually by only a second and in any other title it wouldn’t matter. The downside is that Jungle Rumble’s entire formula is based on precise rhythmic timing and missing a beat requires you to wait until the next measure (a measure is four beats long) starts before you can move your monkeys onward and upward. You can still complete a level even with the occasional game hiccup, but it can result in you needing to restart the challenge if you’re looking to get perfect scores. Overall Jungle Rumble is a fun mobile title that’s worth giving a try on PlayStation Vita. My inital impression was correct, the game is colorful and adorable. I was a fool for thinking this was a pick up and put down style casual game. Things get downright competitive and intense when you’re trying to figure out the best possible pattern to follow to get all the monkeys together and enemies coconutted before time runs out. Visually deceptive Jungle Rumble is not at all the quick play through little kid’s game you may think it to be.
Drumming on your Vita screen in sync to some head swaying jams while tossing coconuts at your adversaries isn’t a walk in the park and that’s a good thing! The game is playable for any age group with the difficulty shining through for those that want to get every trophy unlocked. You can learn more about Jungle Rumble: Freedom, Happiness, and Bananas on their website or download it now in the PlayStation Store!
Score: 3.5 out of 5 Bananas