Jungle Hunt (ジヤングル・ハン卜) is a right-to-left side-scrolling arcade game produced and released by Taito in 1982. It was initially released as Jungle King, but changed as a result of copyright dispute. Published the same year as Moon Patrol, Jungle Hunt is one of the first video games to use parallax scrolling.
Atari 2600 manual cover
Atari, Inc. (ports)
|Platform(s)||Arcade, Apple II, Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Atari 8-bit, ColecoVision, Commodore 64, IBM PC, VIC-20|
|Release||Jungle King |
|Mode(s)||1-2 players alternating|
|Display||Raster, standard resolution 256x224 (60 Hz)|
The player controls an unnamed explorer, sporting a pith helmet and safari suit, attempting to rescue his girl from a tribe of cannibals by swinging from vine to vine, swimming a crocodile-infested river, and avoiding rolling rocks. A variant starring a pirate instead an explorer was released in arcades as Pirate Pete.
The gameplay is split into four scenes, which have different objectives.
In Scene 1, the explorer is required to swing from vine to vine. This is accomplished by pressing the action key when two vines swing closely enough together. Timing is critical, and missing the vine causes the explorer to fall to the jungle floor, losing a life.
Scene 2 has the explorer navigating a crocodile-infested river. The explorer can attack the crocodiles from below with his knife, unless their mouths are open. The explorer must return to the surface periodically to breathe, where he cannot attack the crocodiles. Bubbles periodically rise from the bottom of the river, which can trap the explorer and carry him to the surface, potentially hitting crocodiles on the way.
Scene 3 involves the explorer dodging various-sized boulders rolling and bouncing towards him as he runs up the side of a volcano. Timing is critical as the differently sized boulders bounce at different speeds and heights, and the explorer can be trapped between them.
In the final scene, the explorer must evade cannibals while attempting to get to a woman being lowered into a flaming cauldron. After the player rescues the woman, the word "Congratulations!" appears, which is then followed by a message saying "I Love You!!!" followed by the woman kissing the explorer.
Further gameplay repeats the scenes with increased difficulty. On rounds other than the first, a cannibal appears in the tree of the cauldron scene and throws spears at the player.
The release of Jungle King with its Tarzan-like hero prompted legal action from the estate of Edgar Rice Burroughs. This resulted in the name being changed to Jungle Hunt with several cosmetic modifications:
- The main character is an explorer wearing a pith helmet and safari outfit.
- The swinging vines have slightly different visuals to pass them off as ropes.
- The Tarzan yell is replaced by the music from the end of the second scene.
Taito Brazil (Taito do Brasil) released a version of the game in 1983, also under the title Jungle Hunt, which includes the bare-chested character and Tarzan yell.
The prototype for Jungle King was called Jungle Boy.
Atari published home ports in 1983 under their own brand for the Atari 2600, Atari 5200, and Atari 8-bit family. The rest were released under the Atarisoft label: Apple II, ColecoVision, Commodore 64, VIC-20, IBM PC, and TI-99/4A. In the Atari-ported versions the hero is named Sir Dudley, and the girl, married to Sir Dudley, is Lady Penelope.
The Apple II and IBM PC versions were developed by Sierra On-Line.
In a 1983 Electronic Games review prior to the game being renamed, Bill Kunkel wrote, "Jungle King is an undeniable kick the first few plays, but doesn't seem to hold up for extended periods of time." He called the graphics of the vine-swinging segment "downright hideous," but also said the game might be Taito's "biggest hit since Space Invaders."
In 1982, Taito released a version of Jungle Hunt in arcades as Pirate Pete with the same gameplay. The jungle explorer is now a pirate; the vines are replaced by ropes swinging from the masts of a very long ship; sharks swim the water intead of crocodiles; and sword-wielding pirates take the place of cannibals.
- Fujihara, Mary (1983-07-25). "Inter Office Memo". Atari. Retrieved 18 March 2012.
- Jungle Hunt at the Killer List of Videogames
- Johnson, Kevin (February 1983). "Bungling in the Jungle". Video Games. 1 (5): 18.
- "Jungle King / Jungle Boy"
- "Atari 2600 VCS Jungle Hunt". Atari Mania.
- Kunkel, Bill (February 1983). "Insert Coin Here: Jungle King". Electronic Games. 1 (12): 62.
- Kunkel, Bill; Katz, Arnie (January 1984). "Arcade Alley: The Arcade Awards, Part 1". Video. Reese Communications. 7 (10): 40–42. ISSN 0147-8907.
- Phillips, Scott (April 1983). "The Arcade Beauty Pageant". Joystik. 1 (5): 11.
- "Pirate Pete". Arcade History.
- "Jungle Hunt Board Game". Board Game Geek.