App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
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When we watch our kitties fall off the kitchen table after a failed battle with a scrap of paper, we easily forget there's powerful teeth and claws hidden under all that fluff. Domestic cats are not far removed from the wildcats they initially descended from. Even the use of the word "domestic" is dodgy when referring to cats.
Jungle Rumble by Gamerizon is a good reminder that cats are born killers, regardless of how cute (and fluffy and smooshy) they are. It stars Hungry Hank: a tiger cub that's pretty ravenous. Seriously, his name is no lie. This little guy's stomach requires stacks of meat. He's not afraid to hunt for it, either. This personable running game offers up a cool mix of running, jumping, and shooting, though the action does get a bit repetitive after a handful of levels.
The game takes place across several stages, each with a beginning and an end. It's therefore incorrect to refer to the game as an "endless runner," though Hank continuously runs from left to right, driven by the thrill of the hunt. Meat-bearing animals, including pigs, fowl, and even fish, try and trip up Hank's progress. Hank can shoot them down with his default pea-shooter, or he can collect and use temporary guns, including bazookas and cannons that fire spread-shots. Most tigers hunt with their claws, but apparently when hunger strikes anything goes.
Hank gobbles up whatever meat the animals drop: Chops, drumsticks, sausages and sushi. It's enough to make an omnivorous player want to fire up the gas grill. Shooting down cartoon animals and then gobbling up their remains while on the run is good fun, and Hungry Hank is one cute kitty. But the action starts to get a bit stale after a few levels - though it's never offensive. The controls are sharp, and the game's graphics and sound effects are good. However, it soon becomes obvious the randomly-generated levels subscribe to templates that are well-worn by the time the action reaches level 10.
Worse, there are "roadblocks" every five levels that can only be removed after the player dishes out some gold. Gold is earned as Hank runs, but as might be expected from a free-to-play game it's not necessarily plentiful. And all that glittery good stuff should be going to weapon upgrades and power-ups. These "tolls" are a sorry way of encouraging the player to cave to in-app purchases.
Nevertheless, Jungle Rumble is cute and it's entertaining for a time. It doesn't hold a candle to the likes of Rayman Fiesta Run, but sometimes it's just nice to run through the jungle as a vicious kitten.