Monday 18 April 2016

Jungle Hunt (Atari 2600 review)

Developer: Atari
Publisher: Atari
Released: 1983

Jungle Hunt is an action game that was first released in the Arcades in 1982.

Your mission is to navigate through four levels and rescue Lady P. who's been kidnapped by cannibals. To start there's a cool opening demo that cycles through each level to give you a quick glimpse of the action ahead. The first level tasks you with jumping between vines and timing your leaps so you don't fall to your death. Each vine moves at a different speed to keep things challenging and it's a simple, yet engrossing mechanic. Unfortunately the climbing monkeys from the Arcade original are absent which impacts the variety. The second level takes place underwater while you avoid or stab alligators. You must keep an eye on your oxygen metre and return to the surface for air which cleverly forces you to think about whether to gamble for points or dodge everything so you live to see another day. I found the knife to be more accurate than the Colecovision port (1983) which allows you to attack with more confidence. In the third level you run while jumping over small rocks and avoiding giant boulders that bounce high in the air. Likely due to technical limitations there's no incline as in the Arcade original and instead the ground is a flat surface. Despite this, it's still a fun test of your reactions and there's even some mightily impressive parallax scrolling in the background... astonishing for a 1983 game! In the final level you need to jump over two cannibals and leap to rescue Lady P. The cauldrons are missing (Lady P. stands instead of hanging precariously over them) and the cannibals don't appear on-screen at the same time; it plays well but much of the intensity is lost due to the latter.
It's hard to recommend the Atari 2600 version of Jungle Hunt over its Colecovision counterpart as it doesn't feel like a truly authentic experience due to the many compromises that were made. Saying that, if you can look past the glaring omissions it's still a decent port and there's plenty of fun to be had.
Random trivia: In 1983, the game was also released in spruced-up form on the Atari 5200.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Find a Review