AGH Atari 2600 Review:

by Atari

Jungle Hunt
If you've ever fancied yourself as a macho Tarzan type and dreamed of navigating through a treacherous jungle in an attempt to rescue a damsel in distress, well... this game isn't for you. And it's not just because the name was changed along the way (Jungle King) or that the loin-cloth-laden Tarzan character was forced to put on clothes following a lawsuit against Taito (the original coin-op manufacturer) by the owners of Tarzan's trademark. It's because the 2600 adaptation lacks edge. There's no sense of urgency. You won't break a sweat.

As was the case with its arcade counterpart, Atari's Jungle Hunt consists of four different sequences, culminating in the showdown between you and a band of head hunters. Defeat them and you get the girl. Lose and both you and the girl become the savages' next meal. In the opening scene, your man must swing across the jungle on a series of ten vines. This little test of skill barely qualifies as such. There's almost a 50/50 chance that your character come away unscathed if you played with blindfolds on. From here the action shifts to your basic African river, which is naturally teeming with hungry crocodiles. Here again, there's no reasonable challenge to be found. You can easily just avoid them and make it across the river without any conflict or harm. Or, if can choose to confront the beasts and brandish your knife with a tap of the action button. Unlike the coin-op Jungle Hunt, this act of stabbing the crocs is a very unexacting science. Some of them that appear well out of reach fall dead to the almost invisible blade. Others can kill you with a simple swipe of their tail. If anything, this sequence is unbalanced and inconsistent. In the third stage, you're running up a hill, but boulders -- both large and small -- are rolling down toward you. You must either jump over them or duck under them as they bounce over you. It's very, very simple and would be more bearable if the ending was more climactic, which it's not. The head hunter showdown is quite difficult, but the goal is simple: jump over both of them in whatever fashion necessary and get to the girl. That's it.

Atari must be given credit for one thing. They did a commendable job of cramming all four of the original Jungle Hunt screens into one tiny cartridge. And the graphics and sounds are colorful and sharp, although it's quite a bit detailed than the arcade version as you'd expect. They did, however, leave out the challenge. If you're any sort of player, the outcome of the contest is practically decided right from the start.

Title Jungle Hunt
Publisher Atari
System Atari 2600 (VCS)
Graphics 7
Sound 6
Gameplay 5
Overall 6
Reviewer Keita Iida

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