Struggling to find an interesting game to play on the Google Play Store, I stumbled across The Jungle Book: Mowgli’s Run. I relatively enjoyed the movie, as you might have heard on the Film Fallout Podcast, so I thought “why not?”
Mobile gaming can be good or bad, depending on the type of game you create for it. However, what has been disappointing is that mobile games have taken away the tie-in games we used to see with consoles, as it’s typically the cheaper alternative. The free-to-play model also allows these games to be advertisements for movies. The Jungle Book: Mowgli’s Run is one of them, as micro-transactions are non-existent.
The Jungle Book: Mowgli’s Run is an endless runner based on the opening scene of the movie. You are Mowgli, part of the wolf pack, running in the jungle wilderness in top speed. In the game, you jump over steep falls, avoid branches, and occasionally slip past foes such as King Louie and Kaa with quick time events. It’s fast, challenging, and surprisingly fun. In addition, The Jungle Book: Mowgli’s Run doesn’t have to be connected online to be played, so that’s a big plus in my book. However, the game mechanics are pretty much the only thing that is actually on point.
When you fail in the game, you also get a small clip from the movie with a character giving some sort of retort to how you played. I used to love it as a kid when a game included a clip from a movie. In addition, you collect honey in the game, which gives you power ups and, if you collect the honey comb (by getting a certain amount of honey), you can get the concept art and the posters. It’s not much, but it’s a good way to reward players on multiple runs.
Rather than implementing the great soundtrack by John Debney from the movie, the developers and Disney chose to use generic action music, which becomes irritating quickly. However, I do like how the music ramps up when a boss incident occurs during a run of the game. The sound effects can get tiresome too, but I typically just shut off the music and just deal with the sounds.
Something just as lackluster as the sound effects and the music are the graphics. Looking like they came from the age of the original PlayStation, this game looks ugly; there’s pop in from the distance, a bad character model, and environments that are lacking in detail. It looks like a rushed job, but the animations during the boss encounters actually look pretty cool. For example, Mowgli backflips through the air after avoiding Kaa.
If you are looking for something engaging to play for a few minutes, The Jungle Book: Mowgli’s Run is worth a download, especially if you want to play something offline. Just don’t expect too much from this free-to-play title as the graphics and the audio design leave much to be desired.
The Jungle Book: Mowgli's Run
- Challenging gameplay base.
- Inclusion of movie clips.
- The boss encounters add variety to the gameplay.
- Doesn't have to be online to be played.
- Power ups and collectibles from collecting honey.
- Repetitive generic music instead of the movie's soundtrack
- Annoying sound effects.
- PS1-era graphics.