Jungle Hunt was one of many games Atari would bring to their consoles, meaning the 2600 and 5200, that I would not have the joy of experiencing. I'm not sure why this game never made it in my library of games in the past unless we simply could not find it. But it is here now and I have been trying to enjoy the game.
Jungle Hunt is a side-scrolling, run-and-jump style game. You play as a guy trying to rescue a woman who has been captured by savages. Sound a bit familiar? The game offers four stages of game play and two difficulty settings. Difficulty switches are not used in this game. So, in pops the cart and on goes my 2600. I grab the controller and press the fire button.
At the start of the game I'm swinging on a vine and have to jump from vine to vine to reach the next level. Timing of jumps is vital as a mistimed jump can lead to death from a nasty fall. One jump after another what seems like a few seconds and I'm on the next lever before I know it.
That was a breeze. My guy is swimming in what I believe is a really huge river. In this river are alligators or crocodiles, not sure which, and I don't think it would matter should one have me for lunch. On the right side of the screen just above the "water" is a diving meter. If you dive below the surface of the water the guy can only hold his breath for so long...and that meter is a timer for how long he can hold his breath. Stay underwater too long and you lose a life. I lose two lives in this round; one from an alligator and another one for not paying attention to my breath meter. Opps.
The next round our guy has to avoid boulders either by jumping over or ducking under them. There are two size of boulders. The smaller boulders are not difficult and only require timed jumps. The larger boulders, however, are a bit more difficult and I soon learn it is easier to duck under them than to try to jump over them. Before I know it
...I'm suddenly standing next to a jumping savage. It takes me a few times to figure out this area and I lose all my lives and have to start over. By the time I make it back here I have managed to keep all of my lives from the start. I study the movement of the savage. Jumps to the right and then jumps back left and seems to pause for a second before jumping again. That's it! I manage to get next to him on his jump right and as he jumps left I move close to him. As soon as he lands I jump over him. Ah HA! Success!! Another savage, same move as before, and jump!
And I have managed to save our jungle lady in distress ... for the first time. After my bonus points have been added up we are back at the beginning of the game, ready to do it all over again. This time things are a bit tougher than before. I only manage to make it to the swimming round because the alligators are faster than before and I can't hold my breath as long as I could before. So...game over at the swimming round.
Jungle Hunt is a good game. The graphics are not that bad for being a 2600 game. It's easy to visually tell what everything is suppose to represent. There are not many sounds in this game other than when jumping, the bonus points being counted up, drowning or being eaten by alligators, and short tune between levels and at the beginning of the game. Other than that the game is pretty much quiet. The controls are tight and respond very well. It might take a while, however, to time jumps in later levels but as soon as a direction or button is pushed the game responds immediately.
Jungle Hunt is fun and looks good. I especially enjoy the label artwork that I would have expected to see on the side of the arcade cab. Jungle Hunt is sure to provide with a few minutes to an hour of entertainment. It should also be enjoyable sitting next to more games in a 2600 library.