Buzz! Junior Jungle Party ReviewCain Dornan
The Buzz! series has reaped plenty of success and profit for Sony. Much like Sony’s other highly successful franchise, the SingStar karaoke brand, Buzz! has offered plenty of hours of party gaming that appeals to a wide audience, regardless of whether they are a traditional gamer or not. This strong appeal has seen each Buzz! title skyrocketing to the top of the charts following release, and remaining there for a good number of weeks thereafter.
The latest title in the series, Buzz! Junior Jungle Party, offers a slightly different take on the use of the buzzer as opposed to what we’ve seen in previous titles. Instead of sitting in a game show answering questions, Junior Jungle Party aims directly at suiting kids tastes and interests. Let’s face it: not too many kids are going to have much interest in answering a bunch of questions. As such, the developer has opted to turn the game into a series of 40 mini games that see players performing a range of crazy acts as little monkeys. In a way, it plays similar to the Mario Party series on Nintendo consoles, without the need to progress around a playing board.
Mini games vary from the likes of smashing a totem pole by pressing the right coloured button combinations through to throwing coconuts at each other by pressing corresponding colours, whacking a cheeky squirrel when it pops its head out of a hole, ala Whack-A-Mole, selecting which hippo is the odd one out from a group of bizarrely dressed hippos, and timing the buzzer at the right time when your monkey is selected with the light, allowing you to choose which opponent a hungry crocodile will eat.
The mini games consist of straightforward gaming with a touch of simplistic immature humour that wildly appeals to the youngsters, but is unlikely to gain much of an interest from the more mature crowd. The game simply requires you to press the four coloured face buttons or the big red button on the buzzer as indicated. There’s no difficult questions to answer, no complicated gameplay that takes hours to master. This is clear-cut gameplay at its finest.
As with all previous Buzz! titles, Junior Jungle Party is best suited for play with several players, preferably four, rather than on your own. While the game does offer a single player solution, which sees you progressing through 10 rounds of mini games in an attempt to achieve the highest score possible. These 10 rounds don’t alternate and change, and with the simplicity of the gameplay on offer, it’s unlikely you’ll want to play through it more than a few times.
The multiplayer helping offers a more varied experience, allowing you to choose from a short game, consisting of 5 rounds, a medium game of 10 rounds, a long game of 20 and a marathon containing the game’s entire mini game offering: 40 rounds. There’s also a Practice offering, allowing you to select which level exactly that you wish to gain some more experience on.
Apart from choosing the colour of your on-screen monkey, you can also fit him out with costumes and accessories to help him stand out from the competitors. A handful of new costumes can be unlocked through the playing of the single player mode, offering a slight reason to play through it more than once.
That’s pretty much all there is to it. It’s a simple game that, while it may not appeal to mature gamers due to its simplicity and child-like appeal, will certainly keep the youngsters interested for a good number of hours – as long as they have someone to play with.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.