George of the Jungle: Owie Owie (iOS, Android)

GEORGE_BOXI’m a big fan of Jay Ward Studios, and I even used to know someone who worked there.  So what is Jay Ward Studios?  Well they made a pretty well-known cartoon called Rocky and Bullwinkle.  They also did a lot of animated advertising, and created a pretty popular cereal character.  You may not remember Quisp and Quake, but you might recall a certain seafaring gentleman known as Cap’n Crunch.  Another cartoon they did back in the day was George of the Jungle.  Despite having two dopey live action movies and a lousy animated remake, George still has one of the catchiest theme songs on TV.  So when I read about a George of the Jungle free-to-play downloadable game on iOS and Android (reviewed on iPad here), I was mildly curious. 

Unfortunately, the game isn’t based on the old Jay Ward cartoon, but the new remake that was done a few years ago.  I saw it once on Disney XD and couldn’t sit through five minutes of it.  The game is equally as bad.  In the game, you play as George and must jump up tree limbs to rescue Ape at the top.  Although I think these are endless trees so you’ll probably never get to him.  To climb up, you must hold down on the touch screen and pull back like a slingshot to propel George to the next tree limb.  It even shows a dotted line with your trajectory, similar to Angry Birds.  Actually the game could be best described as a cross between Angry Birds and Doodle Jump.

You must hurry as a red line will creep up from the bottom.  It won’t kill you, but it’s there as warning to let you know that dangerous bugs are coming which are hard to avoid, and if they get you, you’ll fall off the tree.  You must also watch out for other obstacles, like leaves that have retractable spikes, moving platforms, and more.  If you get hit or miss a jump and fall off the tree, it’s Game Over.  You also can’t jump through the branches, but around instead, as if you do try and jump up from the bottom of the branch, you’ll just bonk your head and fall.

As you jump up, you can collect fireflies scattered about.  These act as your currency which you can use to buy new power-ups, outfits, and levels.  Only problem is they cost thousands to buy, and you’ll be lucky to pick up a few in a run.  But that’s just one of the many issues this game has.  Poor controls and instructions on how to play, not to mention choppy animations and gameplay keep this game from being remotely playable.  A popular line in the lyric of the George of the Jungle theme song is “Watch out for that tree!”  For this title, they should change it to, “Watch out for that game!”


Kid Factor:

George can get prickled by spikes, bitten by bugs, and fall down off the trees onto the ground like a ragdoll.  But he doesn’t seem to be phased by any of it, so violence is just cartoony, like Looney Tunes.  Reading skill is helpful for some of the text, but not necessary just to play.  Parental supervision is recommended for the in-game ads and purchases.  But I don’t think this game will hold most kids’ attentions very long anyway.

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