Timon & Pumbaa’s Jungle Games
Disney seems to think that Timon & Pumbaa’s Jungle Games (ages – 8 & up) is a radical departure from The Lion King Activity Center and other previously-released discs; the difference, they believe, is that Jungle Games are pure fun without an educational component, whereas everything else Disney has ever done enriches both the mind and the soul. In reality, Jungle Games is not appreciably less educational than anything else from the Magic Kingdom. The activities are more oriented towards hand-eye coordination than towards matching similar objects, but they all still involve motor skills, understanding simple concepts, and winning. Jungle Games, which was designed in conjunction with 7th Level, offers contests like Pinball, Bug Drop (shoot bugs that rain down on you, without shooting everything), Slingshooter (shoot the un-cuddly animals without shooting the nice ones), Hippo Hop (an update of Frogger), and Burper (not easily summarized in a single line). It goes without saying that production values are high, and the overall execution is slicker than Miami Vice in its heyday. There’s also a tiny, ephemeral hint of what Disney might be with more of a self-mocking sense of humor. In Slingshooter you’re firing a glorified tennis ball machine at all sorts of animals, although you’re only supposed to hit the nasty ones. The balls aren’t lethal, but the animals hardly look as if they’re enjoying themselves as they get pelted by flying missiles. This was our favorite, especially since Timon and Pumbaa themselves occasionally pop up – right into the line of fire.
– July 1996
Previous Games Review | Games Index | Next Games Review