Jungle Hunt

Jungle Hunt
Company: Atari
Model #:
Mike Feinstein & John Allred (GCC)
Year: 1983
Originally called Jungle King


If you've ever stepped foot into an arcade then your familiar with Taito's smash hit Jungle Hunt, but did you know your character wasn't always an English explorer?  Jungle Hunt started out as Jungle King in which you played the role of Tarzan.  Although the rest of the gameplay was pretty much the same, at the end of the third stage a giant boulder would fall down and your character would jump up on it and give the famous Tarzan yell.  Apparently the lawyers didn't think this was too funny, because the owners of the Tarzan trademark sued Taito.  In the end Taito changed the main character to a non-descript explorer and volia! Jungle Hunt was born.


Unlike most arcade to home translations, the 2600 version holds up fairly well against its arcade counterpart.  The biggest difference is found on the third level (the hill with rolling boulders) where the programmers decided to flatten out the hill and made the boulders "bounce" towards you.  This was done because the 2600 couldn't handle diagonals very well and a large hill with rolling boulders was out of the question.  This change was probably for the best, as any attempt to reproduce the hill on the 2600 would have looked god-awful.


Also changed in the 2600 version was the cannibal stage.  For some strange reason the programmers decided to split up the cannibals and give each one its separate screen.  This was probably done because of the limitations of the 2600 hardware, as it's doubtful it could handle two cannibals, your girlfriend, and the player all on the same screen.  This change, although minor, actually takes most of the challenge out of the cannibal stage since you don't have to time your jump to land between the two cannibals.  However, what challenge was lost with the removal of the second cannibal was made up for with dodgy collision detection.  It's not a bug, it's a feature!

Other annoying omissions include the air bubbles from the river stage (weren't those annoying?), the monkeys from the vine stage (mega annoying), and the cauldron at the end of the game.  Instead of your girl friend being suspended above a boiling cauldron on a rope, she's just sort of standing there waiting for you.  Why the cauldron was omitted is a mystery since the 2600 could have easily handled it.  


If you're looking for a multi-screen action game, Jungle Hunt is one of the few 2600 titles that will satisfy your needs.  Despite its flaws, the action is fast, and the gameplay is as addicting as ever.  If you're still miffed about the lack of a hill on the third stage, just tilt your TV 45 degrees.  Not only will you now have your much desired hill, but you'll have the added challenge of playing the other stages uphill.  It's a whole new game!


Version Cart Text Description
2/3/83 Jungle Hunt 2/3/83 Very early version with only two stages
2/22/83 Jungle Hunt 049  
2/25/83 Jungle Hunt EPROM Cartridge 056-02 Almost complete.  Missing sound and has slight graphical differences
3/3/83 Jungle Hunt 062  


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