George of the Jungle DS
Published by: Ignition Entertainment
Developed by: Ignition Entertainment
Release Date: Out Now
George of the Jungle is a game based on the Jay Ward series and the new animated TV show. Fans of the series will be pleased to learn that all of the characters are here including: Ursula, Magnolia, Dr. Scott and of course Ape. The storyline is simplistic and straight to the point: George has to collect magical stones for Dr. Scott and Witch Doctor in return for his annual check-up. That’s not much of a storyline and the game isn’t that long but in many respects that actually turns out to be quite a blessing.
George of the Jungle is a side-scrolling platform game and a rather punishing one at that. Many older gamers will remember the old side-scrolling platform games and how frustrating they could be. One mistimed jump and straight back to the beginning of a mission it was. George of the Jungle replicates the frustrating element to a tee and doesn’t even have any elements that would attract you back for a second play. The only original feature to be found in the platform game elements is the ability to call up on the services of George’s animal friends when the need arises. George can call on an elephant to knock down a barricade or use a giant bee as a kind of elevator. There are some mini-games that help to break up the monotony of the platform sections and it’s here where you’ll mainly use the stylus. The quality of the mini-games is disappointing (and you’re booted back to the main menu should you fail them) but at least they provide a slight relief from the platform sections.
Perhaps the most pleasing aspect of the game is its presentation. The look of the game is completely in keeping with the animated TV series. The games cutscenes actually look rather impressive using large and nicely detailed character models that look just like they were pulled from the TV show. The in-game character sprites don’t look too bad either, although the animations are a little on the basic side. The platform game sections play out on the top screen with the action switching to the touch screen for the mini-games.
Deaf gamers won’t have any problems with George of the Jungle. All of the dialogue is in text so you’ll be able to follow the game’s storyline. Ape gives you plenty of advice and it’s all in text. With all of the dialogue you’ll see a picture of the character who is speaking placed alongside the text so you’ll always be aware of who is saying what; not that it is of too much importance in a game such as this. At certain points in the game you’ll get to call on the services of George’s various animal friends. When this is possible you’ll see an icon appear and you can touch the identical icon that should be lit up on the touch screen.
It’s rather difficult to say whether George of the Jungle is a game that really appeals to anyone. The game’s target audience, young children, are probably not going to have the patience to put up with the game’s frustrating design. The game is not in any way a forgiving experience, demanding virtually perfect timing with the platform game elements and this is something that most young children will simply not persevere with. Older gamers might be more tolerant of the game’s punishing nature but it’s doubtful whether the general theme of the game would appeal to them and besides there are many better platform games to occupy their time.