Gameplay, Story and Value:
Have you played Desert Strike? If so, then you have also Jungle Strike. Jungle Strike is functionally identical to its predecessor, right down to the controls and mission structure. What has changed is the setting and a slight increase to fluidity when it comes to how objectives change during missions. Otherwise, you’re really playing the same game.
Your helicopter operates via tank controls. Up and down on the directional pad to accelerate or decelerate, and left and right to steer. Like last time there’s a solid sense of momentum when piloting your aircraft, resulting in gameplay that is both fun and challenging. Weapons are all mapped to face buttons and pressing start still brings up your objective map. Everything handles very well, and even when I’m overshooting targets or bashing into buildings, I can’t help but feel that it’s my fault and not the game’s.
Like Desert Strike before it, objectives in Jungle Strike range from blowing up buildings and vehicles to taking out ground troops to rescuing allies. It’s all pretty straight forward, but I think with a game like this simplicity is its greatest strength.
Presentation, Music and Sound:
While nothing special, the visual of Jungle Strike still get the job done. Everything is colorful and discernible and identifying your objects is easy. The objective markers on the pause screen aren’t quite as helpful as they were in Desert Strike, but the simple fact that they’re there has me grateful.
Sound effects are just as good as, if not identical to, the ones in Desert Strike. Also like Desert Strike, there’s an unfortunate absence of any music during missions.
It’s hard to think of Jungle Strike as little more than an expansion pack to Desert Strike. The game is effectively identical save for it’s setting. That’s all well and good, except I never thought the series was particularly remarkable to begin with. As it is, Jungle Strike really doesn’t do anything to separate itself from it’s prequel, and it’s hard for me to see it as more of exactly the same.