Jungle Rumble: Freedom, Happiness, and Bananas by Disco Pixel is a rhythm / real time strategy title. I’ve played this title before but can’t place it, maybe at PAX East. Anyways, as a drummer I was drawn to the game. After looking at various Metroid-vania games all day at Boston FiG, I wanted to sit down and do what I feel I do best, and that is play some beats. Sometimes you can go into things over confident and that was the case with my initial experience with Jungle Rumble.

Let’s back up a second and inform you as to what the premise of this game is all about. Players will be controlling a tribe of monkeys who have set off into the jungle to push back against a rival tribe who is out to steal their bananas. By the player using the screen as their own personal drum, you’ll create rhythms to either move your monkey or engage in combat.

jrlogo2During the brief time I was playing the title on the floor, I was not understanding that not only do you need to be concerned with the downbeat, but you also need to understand the finger patterns and where the first downbeat occurs in the rhythm. I must confess this issue was bothering me post-Boston FiG and have since purchased the title on the iOS App store. Now with a clearer idea on my head, I’m setting my monkeys free into the jungle and we’re letting the other guys have it. Our bananas, so back off!

Levels will vary in difficulty as some will have contain certain strategies which will be essential in moving your monkey into the correct spot before the enemy monkey knocks you off your perch. The more monkeys that are present on the screen, the music bubbles up with excitement, almost at a frantic pace. If you make a wrong move, the beat and frenzy will stop and the tension will mount. In speaking with Trevor from Disco Pixel, he explained the title contains three worlds and the music will evolve over time as the tone of the story changes.

Trevor also explained to us that they’ve just announced Jungle Rumble is headed to the PS Vita. Sony handheld players should expect some added features like an extended tutorial as the control mechanics are slightly different for the Vita. Also expect more levels, especially bonus levels called the “Hot Step”, additional beats will be added too, plus medals and trophies for the collectors out there.

Currently, Jungle Rumble is available on the iOS App store for $3.99. More content will be forthcoming and at no cost to the consumer. Buy the game once and you’re locked in for the future DLC.