Developer: Disco Pixel
Price: $3.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S

Graphics / Sound: Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls: Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay: Rating: ★★★★½
Replay Value: Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Jungle Rumble: Freedom, Happiness and Bananas is a puzzle-y, streamlined, real-time strategy game in which players must move monkeys from tree branch to tree branch to defeat an enemy tribe of monkeys and secure a supply of bananas. This goofy concept has a wonderfully colorful art style to accompany it, though the game seems to lack a similar sense of whimsy in the music department. This makes Jungle Rumble a little bit of a disappointing game, but still a fun experience nonetheless.

The best analog to Jungle Rumble is probably Patapon for the Playstation Portable. In both games, players control multiple units on a level and issue commands by tapping along to the beat of the game’s audio. The primary command in Jungle Rumble is movement, in which players must alternate between tapping the unit and the desired next tree branch for four beat (i.e. unit, branch, unit, branch) before the selected monkey moves. As new levels become available, more commands like attacking and combining forces add to the challenge and strategy of the game.

photo (1)photo 3 (3)Probably the best part about Jungle Rumble is that players can choose how they want to complete each level instead of following some script of pre-determined moves and commands common among rhythm games. Players can choose to avoid combat, whether or not they should take a risky path, etc. because the game’s mechanics allow for decision making – although players still do have to follow the rules of the games rhythmic command system. To top it all off, these decisions actually feel like they matter instead of just seeming like an unnecessary addition to the game.

Jungle Rumble only really falls short in the music department. The musical arrangements present in the game fit the jungle theme, but they mostly sound like sparse bongo drum tracks more than anything else. While these tracks are completely functional for playing the game, they don’t mesh very well with the otherwise very polished presentation.

In the end, Jungle Rumble manages to be a pretty successful real-time strategy game with rhythm mechanic, even in spite of its musical shortcomings. It definitely isn’t the typical rhythm game – and it would be appreciably less enjoyable if it were – but its presentation and mechanics help make it an enjoyable experience overall.

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