George of the Jungle (Nintendo DS) Review

By Mike Mason 10.08.2008

Where's the self-respect, guys? If you've been forced to make a licenced game, chances are that you're not going to win any awards for innovation, but you might as well give it a decent go. Look at some of the games attributed to movies or TV shows in the past and it's easy to see it's possible to make them work - look at the old Turtles games by Konami or Spiderman 2, for example. Sure, they might be stronger licences than George Of The Jungle, but surely there's scope for some exciting vine-swinging animal-battling action here? Oh. Apparently there isn't.

Before we ramble, let's be kind. The animation's pretty nice, the visuals are okay and the story sections have had all new pictures drawn for them, presumably by the artists of the TV show itself. It would've been mildly better to have proper animated cutscenes, but fair enough. Sadly the story itself is some asinine adventure into collecting stones so George can pay a doctor's bill. That about sets the tone for the rest of the game really. You collect stones. It's a thrill ride.

Predictably, it's a 2D platform game. You walk around gathering things up and jumping on enemies' heads to kill them. So far, so by-the-book. This is the bit where the fact that George is, as the name suggests, a man who grew up in a jungle should come into play. It doesn't. George might be a moron, but he's a strong one who obviously knows how to survive in the wild, which makes it all the stranger that your grandmother could climb up vines faster than him in this game (not that the vines move any more quickly - they swing as if they were suspended in vats of treacle) and has to rely upon jumping and throwing bananas to dispatch his enemies. What he loses in vine-based athleticism, George somehow gains in jumping prowess - which would be fine if this was a game set on the moon, but a man who lives in a jungle does not mysteriously grow up with the ability to bounce like an astronaut on springs. Being the king of the jungle that he is, why is his movement restricted to walking at a snail's pace with no option to run?

Screenshot for George of the Jungle on Nintendo DS

Actually, there's a practical reason for that. Thing is, each level only lasts about three minutes at best. To put in a run button would probably half that time, which wouldn't be very good, would it? As a whole George Of The Jungle lasts a mere 30 - 40 minutes. We're honestly not sure if this is a positive or a negative, but we know for damn sure that it isn't good value for money and anybody with opposable thumbs is going to waltz through it. Hell, most of the quadrupeds of the animal kingdom contained in the game probably could. The levels themselves are baffling - in one level you end up seemingly inside a bee hive no bigger than size of George's head, and to top it off partway into the level you're informed that some surfaces are slippery. In a bee hive? Full of honey? The wondrous, sugary and, above all, sticky food? Slippery? We don't understand the thought process behind that one and we're not sure we want to. Then there's the annoying thing about George's health. He's fine to sustain monkeys and snakes bumping into him, he's fine to fall in a pit of spikes with a bit of a graze to his health metre, but if he falls into the water? Instant death. We hope that kids really aren't influenced by games, because if they start diving into piles of barbed wire and spikes thinking that it's safer than their local swimming pool after playing this the Daily Mail is going to have a field day.

The developers at least tried to add a bit of variety into proceedings. There's a completely terrible mini-game where you hurl honey at bees to make them go away by tapping them on the touch screen - a technology that doesn't seem to have been mastered, given that every so often a tap will be registered on the other side of the screen and the only use of the screen within the platform stages is to call for help or use one of three power ups. Then there are some vertical shoot 'em up stages which are alright in all fairness, aside the silly difficulty curve in later stages which is just going to annoy some children for an extra ten minutes.

George Of The Jungle is one of those games that needs to be locked into a big box, shipped off into the wild somewhere and abandoned so that any creatures roaming about in the general area can do whatever they like to it. It shouldn't be anywhere near your DS, but even if by some accident it does end up there you can rest assured that it won't be there for long given the length of the title. Did we mention it has loading times? Oh dear.

Screenshot for George of the Jungle on Nintendo DS

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 2 out of 10

Very Bad

George Of The Jungle manages to cram everything that's wrong about games for children in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it package. The gameplay makes an absolute mockery of a licence that, while not the strongest, would lend itself well to a faster paced adventure, which just shows the complete lack of thought and effort that went into its creation. Nothing seems to act as it should, the length is insulting and you could switch out all of the characters for just about anything else and we doubt anybody would ever notice. It's not the trees you need to worry about - watch out for this game.

Also known as

George of the Jungle and the Search for the Secret






2D Platformer



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  2/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   


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