Release Date: 1983
Players: 1 – 2
Genre: Arcade – Platformer
Alternate Title: N/A
Model #: 006-01
Programmer: Steve Beck / Phat Ho
What causes a normal everyday hunter on a jungle safari to be pushed over the edge? Two poorly constructed levels and a coconut throwing gorilla.
The first level has the protagonist stationed at the bottom of a multi-level cliff, while a giant teddy-bear looking gorilla roams the ground above. As you begin your ascent up the mountain the gorilla sends a handful of coconuts barreling down towards you. Luckily he has poor aim, so all you have to do is hug the wall and you will make it halfway up unscathed. The next portion involves some of the worst, most confusing graphics to be found on the 2600. You must jump across a ledge even though it looks like you can simply walk across it. If you jump too far, you will fall to your death. If you don’t hold to the right and simply jump straight up in the air, you still die for some reason. To make things more complicated there are two small monkeys that will jump on your back, weighing you down. This isn’t much of a problem for the short jump, however if there is one on your back for the leap across the waterfall then it’s a watery grave for you. If you survive all of that, it’s a short climb to the summit, causing the gorilla to run away and allowing you the opportunity to move on to the second phase of your jungle adventure.
Much like the first level, the second is another exercise in frustration. In order to chase down the coconut throwing gorilla you must cross a raging river. Since you left your canoe at home you must rely on lily pads, severed hippo heads and a couple of fish swimming in formation if you want to make it to the other shore. Making these jumps is very tricky, especially given the fact that if you even think about touching the water, you die instantly. Given that you don’t have much control over your jumps, expect to be fish food numerous times before you make it safely across. It is also advisable to tread cautiously once you do make it across, since there are rampaging rhinos that tend to blend into the scenery.
Now that you have successfully navigated the cliffs and the raging river, it’s time to confront the gorilla. Sure all he has done is throw a few easily avoided projectiles, but the hunter is incredibly frustrated at all he has had to endure. So he does what any rational person would do in his shoes. He grabs the nearest stick from a bonfire, walks over to the ape and sets him ablaze, before casually walking off screen while the flaming primate flails around in agony. Needless to say, the hunter is not someone who should be crossed.
Unless you have a personal vendetta against gorillas and need some video game therapy to deal with it, there really isn’t much of a reason to play this. The graphics and controls are terrible, you die for absolutely no reason, and it is generally a chore to play.
More in the Atari 2600 Encyclopedia on great games like this! Plus subscribe to Old School Gamer for FREE by clicking here!