Whenever I tell my friends about this game, I always get the same reactions. First, I tell them that it’s a survival game that takes place in a sort of post apocalyptic Tokyo where you control animals, and they think that’s neat. Then I tell them that the animal variety ranges from a Pomeranian to a Deinonychus, or for those that aren’t fluent in scientific names for dinosaurs, a raptor, and their reactions are always a unanimous “what?” And I’ll be honest, that was my first reaction to this game as well. The game plays very simply, you control one of many types of animals, split between carnivores and herbivores, in a Tokyo where all the humans have just disappeared. You have three simple goals: Eat, Mate, Survive. It’s mainly a 2.5D side-scroller, most of the time you spend going left and right, moving into and out of the foreground and background to move through alleyways. As a carnivore, your main source of food is other animals, so you typically have more attack power then herbivores. You can stalk your pray and take them out in one clean shot (as long as they’re “within your weight class”, you’re not going to one shot a lion if you’re a Pomeranian, sorry, it’s not in your cards), or you can try and duke it out. As a herbivore, you have weak attack power, so you’re main way to not die is to sneak around and run away when in trouble. I’ll tell you this, the game is a lot harder as a herbivore then a carnivore. Tokyo Jungle has two game play modes, a survival mode (which can be played with a friend on the same console!) where you just try and last as long as you can, accumulating points and completing challenges, and a story mode, which you have to unlock piece by piece in the challenge mode. The game has started to pick up a bit of a cult following since it’s been released in the west, but not many people know of it. You can only pick it up on the PSN and it’s only a $15 purchase, well worth the price. Whats sad is the fact that this is a pretty obscure game simply because Sony isn’t advertising it. Sure, it’s no blockbuster hit, and it’s place on the PSN is rightly deserved, because I certainly wouldn’t want to pay 60 bucks for the game. However it has shown that this game is extremely good and picks up quite the following, filled with fans sharing stories of how they kited a pack of lions as an alley cat only to be taken down in one shot by a panther hiding in the bushes. I think Sony is really missing an opportunity to get some good cash on this game by not advertising it, and the only way I could improve on it was if it was also available on the Vita PSN so I can take my Pomeranian hunting sprees on the go.
Tokyo Jungle is available now on the Playstation Network store for $14.99