Old CD’s: Games, Encyclopedia, Apps.

Reviews About Old Software on CD-ROM from the 1990’s

Jungle Book February 6, 2009

Filed under: Book,Children,Dictionary,Educational,Encyclopedia,Games,Multimedia,Trivia — gamegoldies @ 10:21 pm
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Storybook

Jungle Book

For a disc that strives to push the boundaries of interactive entertainment, Jungle Book (IBM/Powerhouse Entertainment – ages 5-9) feels an awful lot like old hat. The groundbreaking part of the program is the speech recognition technology – “learn the language of the jungle” and you can navigate parts of the game using only your voice and a microphone, which comes packaged with the disc. At key junctures your monkey guide will chatter nonsense like “Ka-Kee,” “Aw-Ow-Ow,” and “Ja-Kee-Ta,” and then challenge you to repeat his syllables (if you prefer, the sticky points can be passed using more conventional logic games like Concentration and Simon). Except for this gimmicky little trick, which does, admittedly, have exciting implications for the future, Jungle Book is just another example of a CD-ROM that has not figured out how to use multimedia. The entire adventure is live-action video, where you make occasional choices and spend a lot of time clicking on “instinct” – little flashes of light that test hand-eye coordination and play excerpts from the Jungle Book movie. The experience is less interactive, on the whole, than passively soporific. To make matters worse, some of your choices will have to be made blind; sometimes there’s no way to figure out the proper path except through a process of elimination. The content is banal but amusing, and should appeal to little kids, but it lacks the magic of both Kipling’s book and the original animated movie. The audience for Jungle Book, therefore, is very young kids, fans of Jason Scott Lee’s pectorals, and die-hard gamers who can’t wait to see the latest voice-recognition technology – even if its saddled with a game as mediocre as this one.

-July 1996

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