Review: Tokyo Jungle Mobile
Tokyo Jungle Mobile came out of nowhere. A week ago we found out a mobile version of one of PSNStores’s favorite games was being released, and we had no idea what to expect. This mobile edition shrinks everything down into a bite-size title perfect for small sessions. The only problem, those short sessions could turn into hours if the game sinks its teeth into you.
While Tokyo Jungle on the PS3 was a free moving 2.5D sidescroller, this mobile edition simplifies exploration to a grid with a 2.5D isometric view. When Chris was playing on the livestream, he had some difficulty getting accustomed to the controls since the grid doesn’t directly translate to the D-Pad, but after a few generations, I found the setup passable (There are two options for movement in the settings). The grid still has you covering the same areas of Tokyo from the PS3 title, but they’re incredibly condensed. Since the grid constricts your movement from tile to tile, there isn’t a way to slowly sneak up on your prey—which means we don’t need a stamina meter either, just health and hunger. As a predator, you have two options for killing your prey: face to face (which generally gets you killed) or blindsiding for a clean kill (sometimes with the help of tall grass). The X Button attacks and counters which can lead to some clunky fights. Circle Button allows you to pivot on a tile to reposition yourself. By holding down X, you can execute a charge attack which varies animal from animal. For example, the Pomeranian will attack through two tiles in a charge while my boy, the Deinonychus does a ground pound damaging the 8 tiles around him.
Exploration aside, this title also cuts the story mode. Instead, we’re left with the single survival mode that is meant to be replayed infinitely using the various animals you unlock. In the first game you had to accomplish certain objectives to unlock new animals. In this you just have to see the animal on-screen then purchase it using accrued points. This entails you staying alive, keeping your lineage going for multiple decades to catch a glimpse of some of the rarer animals. Survival mode pits you against the post-human Tokyo as you struggle to survive for as long as possible. You’ll be given tasks to complete to pass the time, upgrade your stats, such as killing a certain number of animals cleanly or eating X amount of calories. As you upgrade your animal, you’ll rank up from rookie to veteran to boss. This allows you to attract a mate of the same level as you (or lower).
As you travel the city, you have the option of marking your territory in three places in each of the subareas of overgrown Tokyo. Once you mark your territory you can then use that area’s nest to procreate with a female. Like your ranking, the females rank from desperate to average to prime. The ranking of your mate determines how many offspring you’ll have, which act as extra lives. By passing missions in the normal portion of the game you will upgrade your animal. These stats can then be passed on to your offspring as well. My raptor went 15 generations and was substantially upgraded before I died shy of 100 years in. Once you lose the survival of the fittest, you’ll be kicked to a local leaderboard and are rewarded with points that can be spent to unlock new animals. Then the process repeats.
Visually the game is a step down from the PS3 counterpart, which is to be expected. There is little to no animation on the animals, with simple movement handled by moving still images. Also because there is no longer a stamina meter, the game has removed the dash which was rather useful in avoiding enemy attacks. I also am really surprised that there are no in-app purchases for animals. The PS3 offered some of the animals via DLC, but they are all here on the PS Mobile version.
While the title is neutered compared to the full version, it’s perfect for mobile gaming. You still get that feeling of survival that made the original so addicting. I’ve already gotten more than my 3 bucks worth so I recommend picking it up before the price goes up soon!
A copy of this game was purchased for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation Vita version of the game.
What I Like:
- Addicting, arcade style fun
- Chill music
- My boy, the Deinonychus
- A 3 dollar game capable of completely stressing me out
What I Dislike:
- No Hats or costumes like on PS3
- Small Map
- Gets repetitive