GBA

North America

Tarzan: Return to the Jungle

by Steven Rodriguez - December 18, 2002, 11:38 pm PST

7

Lions, tigers, and bears, oh my! Evil queens, dinosaurs, and pirates? Welcome to the jungle.

Tarzan for the Game Boy Advance is pretty much the way you’d imagine it, with a few other things thrown in. Vine swinging, tree sliding, and Tarzan bellowing out his trademark yell are all in the game, with some dinosaurs, pirates, lost cities, and an evil queen thrown in for good measure. With all that stuff in there, it still seems to work for Tarzan and this game.

The game is broken up into four worlds, each with a different theme and boss at the end. In the first world you are young Tarzan, and after that, you’ll play as an adult for the rest of the way through. The only difference between the two in terms of how the game plays out is that adult Tarzan has a limited amount of spears to throw, whereas the younger version has an unlimited boomerang. Either way, you’ll still need to defeat enemies and work through levels in the standard platforming way. Of course, since you’re Tarzan, you can also slide down tree limbs for some distance on long jumps, use vines to swing or catapult to higher locations, or yell out to animals for help in some tough situations. Even though the game has a simple setup, when it’s all put together it works out well.

The graphics of this game look gorgeous. Each world has its own style, and everything is bright and colorful. Tarzan is well-animated, as well as the objects he interacts with (weapons, vines, snakes that look like vines, etc.). The various enemies encountered look like they’ve had a lot of time spent on them too, so this isn’t some game that was just thrown together. The backgrounds help to further accentuate the foreground graphics, too. It does look very nice and very “Tarzany” overall, with no gripes to speak of.

Jumping into the game’s first level, Tarzan’s ape-friend Terk introduces you to the game’s controls. The default has A to jump, B to run, and R to attack with your boomerang (young Tarzan) or spears (adult Tarzan). You can also grab onto overhangs by holding up and A, or slide down tree limbs by holding forward and B. It’s a rather standard platform control setup, and as long as it works when you need it to (which it does) then you can’t complain about it.

The game’s music is pretty good, even with some blandness and repetition popping up occasionally. Although there are some points where you’d wish there was no music, it seems that when that feeling does come up, you’re at a new level and have a new music track to listen to. Sound effects are pretty much the same the whole way through.

If there was one thing about this game that would make you stay away from it, it would have to be the title’s replay value. That is to say, there really isn’t any. There is absolutely no reason whatsoever to need to play this game more than once. There are movie clips that you can unlock for reaching certain points in the game, but when you beat it, all the clips will be unlocked, and you’ll have yourself a completely cleaned-out game. You’ll get a ride out of the game the first time, but after that, there’s just no incentive to want to go back, since you’ll get nothing for it.

This game is the perfect thing for kids who are Tarzan fans. It looks very good, plays and sounds pretty, and will keep someone occupied long enough for it to merit a rental, if you don’t want to spend $30 on a game that you won’t be playing much after you finish if off the first time.

Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
8 7 7.5 7.5 5 7
Graphics
8

You’ll know it’s a Tarzan game just by looking at it. Each of the worlds has its own style, and the graphics are very colorful and full of life.

Sound
7

The music is catchy, but sometimes repetitive. Repetitive sound effects will begin to bore you.

Control
7.5

Jumping from vine to vine is easy, but requires timing. The rest of the controls work just fine. You’ll be holding down the run button just like the good old days.

Gameplay
7.5

Pretty standard platform gaming, with the extra Tarzan tricks such as vine swinging. Nothing really special about it other than the fact that it is Tarzan, but there are some pretty challenging parts to conquer as you move along.

Lastability
5

The game itself will take up a fair amount of time, but after you’ve beaten it, you’ll have no other reason to go back unless you want to play it again for your own amusement. Too bad this game probably won’t amuse you more than once.

Final
7

It’s slightly above average platforming in the Tarzan world. The game has bright spots, but after you’ve found them the first time, there’s no reason to find them again. It’s not a short game, but you’re only going to play it once, meaning you’ll get more time out of a shorter game that you can play over and over again.

Summary

Pros
  • Nice colorful graphics and animations
  • Platforming gameplay is always solid
Cons
  • Platforming gameplay is nothing new
  • Play it once, you’re done with it forever
Review Page 2: Conclusion

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Genre Action
Developer Digital Eclipse
Players1
Controllers

Worldwide Releases

na: Tarzan: Return to the Jungle
Release Sep 14, 2002
PublisherActivision
RatingEveryone
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