As we all well know, the iTunes app store is overflowing with game titles, ranging in genre, price and quality. Trying to browse the titles without any prior knowledge of how good they are would relate to finding a needle in a haystack, although there is an occasional diamond in the rough. Jungly Jump, however, is not a diamond.
Jungly Jump, developed by Medl Mobile, is a puzzle game that shares similarities with Bloons and Angry Birds. The main characters are Squaty and Spiky, who come across magical fruits which are too far out of reach. In order to obtain as much of the fruit as possible, Squaty must jump from various levels of a tree onto a catapult to launch Spiky towards the fruits.
Each level brings different variations of fruit placement, some including obstacles or special actions. The goal is to achieve a certain percentage of the fruits in three attempts to proceed to the next level.
The gameplay is fairly simple. First, you have to aim Spiky by sliding him up or down the plank. Once you’re satisfied, you then pick a branch for Squaty to drop from to launch Spiky. The higher the branch, the stronger the launch. Different levels will need variations in launch power to succeed.
That said, the game is rather clunky when aiming Spiky, and when he is launching towards the fruits. It fails to do justice towards the fluidness the iPhone is capable of. Jungly Jump lacks that satisfaction you get when playing a game like Angry Birds, where the aiming feels accurate and smooth.
Additionally, I find it lacking with any sort of hook. After a few levels it starts to feel very repetitive and unchanging. Every level is a different pattern of fruits and the only other changes are the variation of obstacles.
Jungly Jump is not a horrible game, but it could use some work. The animations need some fine-tuning to fix the jagged movements, and the game needs more depth to keep gamers interested. Introducing a different feel for each level, unlocking other ways to obtain the fruits or adding any new dynamic would help the game immensely.
I find it hard to recommend Jungly Jump when there are other games that would provide a better experience with more features. At $1.99 in the app store, I’d say stay away unless they push through any updates to make your buck more worth while. Until then, there is a free limited version so you can try it yourself risk free.