Third Party Release – Jungler

Jungler is that rare title for the Arcadia-2001 from the standpoint that it’s actually a port of an arcade game, albeit an obscure one. Most Arcadia 2001 games are “original” (note the use of quotations) 1st party titles developed in house by Emerson. Jungler, on the other hand, was developed for arcades by Konami. Jungler is another maze game where you control what appears from the box art to be a sort of multi-segmented dragon like creature. The goal of the game is to defeat your enemy, another equally segmented dragon-like creature, by firing at the body or tail segments from behind. Your opponent can do the same to your creature so it’s in your best interest to not let it follow you or get behind you for long. Once your creature is larger/longer than your enemy after shooting enough segments, you can defeat it by meeting it head on. If you meet your opponent head on while you are the same size or smaller, you will lose a life. Throughout each maze, an energy ball will show up at the top of the screen periodically, allowing whoever eats it to re-gain a segment of its body in addition to gaining bonus points.

From a variety standpoint, Jungler offers a number of different mazes, some better designed than others, and a couple of different speeds of gameplay. The default speed is much too easy against the computer for most of the mazes but some of them do offer a bit of a challenge by creating sections that you can find yourself cornered in. There is also an unnecessary gameplay addition of gates that you can open and close in order to put an abrupt stop to your opponents pursuit. I find it just as easy to make a quick sharp turn left or right when my opponent is hot on my tail vs. trying to lead it to an area of the maze with a gate. The hit detection seems a bit wonky as well. There are many times when I am right behind my opponent blasting away only to find out my shots didn’t register or it only took off one segment instead of several. I do like the fact that the creatures turn a different color when they are vulnerable to be defeated. Overall Jungler is an ok game but there’s not much here to keep you engaged for long.

Rating: C+

Currently in my collection: game, manual, box

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