Review by KasketDarkfyre

"Weird."

Weird and wild games such as Jambo! Safari don’t come along all that often. Featuring a really innovative and wild way to play an acquisition game, your sole purpose is to nail an animal with a rope while driving after it and capture it with a net in order to collect the species. I’m really not sure what the point of the game after that is, but all that I do know is that you have to use some timing, patience and skill in order to proceed through the game.

What the game features:

You have your choice of three different collectors, all of which have pretty much the same skills and attributes. Several different species of animal that you have to run down and collect and then a few different locations as well as a time limit to round it all out. Basically, there is a character for every type of person {as long as you fall into three categories} and you merely have to drive in a certain direction and find your next target. Consider this a Crocodile Bounty Hunt and you’ll be on the right track!

The Game Play

You sit down in the cabinet and select your character that you wish to venture out into the wild with in order to capture different species of animals. The difficulty here isn’t so much finding the animals, but trying to capture them with the rope and then with the net in a two-part process. In order to find the animals, you can look in a little radar at the bottom part of your screen as well as follow a pointer in the next direction. Once you’ve done that, then you merely steer your vehicle in the right direction to find your target and acquire them.

This is where the tough part comes in however and it did take me a few minutes to get the hang of it. Once you have your target in sight, then you have to launch a rope with the shifter handle on your right. When you nail the animal with the rope, then you have to move a secondary crosshair over it and toss the net in order to capture it fully. You might be wondering what could be so hard about it, right? Well, once you have the rope on the animal, you have to steer your car in a certain direction, speed up and slow down enough to keep the rope tension from going to high and snapping the rope!

Once you’ve accomplished that, then you move onto the next animal, all of which goes towards a score rating in order to give you a better score. The other areas of the game increase with difficulty, and you’ll be able to play through the game with faster, smarter and overly stronger opponents to try and catch. The time limit is raised for every animal you do happen to catch, so as long as you’re quick, you really shouldn’t be looking at a continue screen all that often.

The Visuals

Wide open spaces and plenty of game park atmosphere will greet you at all points during the game. You’ll be under the sunny skies, racing through giant fields in your jeep and whipping your rope around with little or no problem. What I found with the visuals though, was that they seem a little too cartoonish for my liking, with the animals seeming to have been animated by Looney Tunes! Once you get past the part of having the game looking more or less like a cartoon, the models in which the animals are made have some pretty nice detailing added to them.

The Audio

What you have is a wild safari type rock track to listen to as well as the roar of the engine in your jeep while you’re driving. If you were to think of the Jurassic Park movie with the jeep sequences, then you’ll find that it rounds out the sound effect end of the game. The roars of the animals as well as the skidding tires of your jeep with the whoosh of the rope and net do tend to put quite a bit of life into the game once you’re into it. However, the stages themselves really don’t change music all that much and you may be listening to the same track a few times before you really realize it!

The Verdict

Jambo! Safari is a game that you have to play and look at with an open mind. While the overall premise of the game may seem like it could be something that a kindergarten student could play, it actually has enough challenge with the controls and main game play feature to stump veterans. The visuals, although cute and well detailed, might be enough to turn you away from the game with a label of it being a kids game rather than a serious one for adults. Worth a couple of credits just to test out your driving skills, Jambo! Safari is a wild action game with some interesting promise!


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 05/12/02, Updated 05/12/02


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