Jungle Party PSP Review

November 17, 2010 by  
Filed under Reviews & Features, PSP, PlayStation

Publisher – Sony Computer Entertainment Europe – Developer – Magneta Software – Genre –  Party– Players – 1-4 – Age Rating – 3+ – Other console/handheld formats – PS2, PS3

Well, I thought the Jungle Party name sounded a little familiar. It turns out that it was released five years ago under the Buzz! Junior brand on the PS2. Jungle Party is a slimmed down portable version, but it does offer more content than the digital HD release of the same game on the PS3. Is it enough to justify its £24.99 asking price?

For those unfamiliar with the Buzz! Junior games, the title may suggest to them that the cartoon trivia game host, Buzz, is going to pop up with his smart mouthed remarks, although Buzz is nowhere to be found. It appears that the Buzz! title has been dropped from this PSP title simply because it’s not possible to use any form of a buzzer on Sony’s handheld.

Whatever the case, Jungle Party is a mini game collection comprised of 15 games (the PS2 original had 40) and four different coloured monkeys. I’ve got to say that the colourful visuals aren’t supposed to appeal to a 27 year old, although I found them to be attractive and charismatic, therefore the target audience should most certainly be delighted with them.

This mini game has you making bubbles while a gorilla sleeps, being careful to stop every so often to bank your points. If he wakes up and you're still making bubbles, he'll bash you in the head and you'll lose any points that you haven't banked.

The game offers little for the solo player other than going up against the AI, which isn’t as much fun as facing off against another player, although we’ll get to that a little later on. Whether you’re playing in single or multiplayer, games can be played across five, ten or the maximum fifteen rounds, with players choosing from one of four cartoon chimps and then kitting them out with various clothes and accessories.

The 15 mini games are designed to be simple and make use of the face buttons, and only the face buttons – I told you it was simple. Tossing coconuts at opponents (hitting the X button for direction and distance), spotting the odd hippo out by pressing one of the buttons, placing your head inside a lion’s mouth (removing it to bank your points), penalty shootouts (whether you’re between the sticks or taking the kick, pressing the face button that corresponds to your desired corner does the job), standing under a crate by pressing the button displayed on it and hoping that something positive will fall out of it as opposed to a nasty and heavy anvil. All of these mini games work well with their simplistic controls. These are only five examples, but rest assured that all work well and are kept intuitive and entertaining for young hands.

I mentioned that Jungle Party certainly is at its most enjoyable in multiplayer, and there’s a couple of ways in order to do this.  Firstly, you can pass the PSP between yourselves, with scores being compared after each player has had their turn, and there’s also a Game Sharing option. Both work as they should.

Sadly giving a hearty recommendation for this version of Jungle Party is quite difficult – it just feels a little overpriced with its fifteen short mini games, but luckily if you shop around enough you’ll be able to find it for cheaper than its RRP. For the right price, the game itself is certainly likeable enough, but, even then, if you have a PS2 in your possession, I certainly know which version I would go for, and it can be picked up for next to nothing now.