A rival monkey tribe is snatching all of your tribes’ bananas and invading your space. It’s up to you to take control of your monkey tribe through music and fend off the invaders. But later you may have to team up to fight an even greater evil. Jungle Rumble is a downloadable game for iOS (reviewed on iPad here), and it’s a clever mix of strategy and music rhythm gameplay.
In most levels, you’ll either need to grab a bunch of bananas, or defeat all the rival monkeys. You do this by moving from branch to branch on a tree, kind of like moving spaces on a board game. To do this, you must tap spaces in time with the music drum beats. So to move to a branch adjacent to you, tap the branch your monkey is on, then tap the one next to it, and alternate doing that once more (four taps in all) and you’ll hop one space over. You can even move whole groups of monkeys this way if you tap without taking any breaks or making any mistakes.
In many stages you may need to defeat rival monkeys. But first you’ll have to arm your monkeys with coconuts to lob. Once you land on a space that has coconuts, your monkeys will carry them around and can throw them. To tell your monkeys to toss coconuts at rivals, you’ll need to tap the space you’re on three times, and the fourth time tap the adjacent space that you want the monkeys to throw to. You’ll have to time your shots carefully because some of the rival monkeys can move around. If they move onto a space you’re on, you’ll lose one of your monkeys. Lose all your monkeys and it’s Game Over. When you complete a stage, you can earn gold, silver, or bronze monkey medals depending on how fast you beat the stage, how many rivals you defeated, and how many of your own monkeys are left.
If my description on how to play the game is confusing, don’t worry. They do a much better job of explaining how to play in the game as you go through the levels. Because of the cartoony graphics, battle strategy mechanics, and music rhythm gameplay, this game reminds me of an old Sony PSP game called Patapon. Except I think this game is a little bit better. If you’re not as good at music games, you may find this one especially challenging, and sometimes it’s hard to figure out how to complete levels. But other than that, Jungle Rumble is a fairly decent, console-quality mobile title.
Violence is mild and cartoony, and only consists of monkeys throwing coconuts at one another, and falling off of tree branches. Reading skill is a must, and younger gamers and the less musically inclined may need help with the tougher levels.