Jungle Speed (WiiWare)

Game Review

Jungle Speed Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Corbie Dillard

How does this unique card game of quick thinking and reflexes translate to WiiWare?

For those of you out there who aren't familiar with it, Jungle Speed is a unique card game that's recently become quite popular among card game fans. It’s essentially one of the "first one to get rid of all their cards" style and not only requires the players to be very observant, but also to have fast reflexes. So how does this card game translate into a WiiWare release and does it manage to retain all of the trademark gameplay of the original card game?

Jungle Speed features a very simple set of rules. Every player is dealt an equal number of symbol cards which feature unique designs. Each design comes in four different colours. The first player turns over and plays the top card on their draw pile and this continues around the table one player after another. When another player at the table plays a symbol card that matches the card currently face up in front of you, a duel begins. At this point both of you have to quickly attempt to grab the wooden totem statue in the middle of the playing area. The first one to successfully grab the totem wins the duel and the losing player must take all of the cards that have been played between the two players involved in the duel. Occasionally there will be other unique cards such as the "Fast Grab" or "Colour Match" cards that force unique duels. A "Fast Grab" card forces everyone that has currently played at least one symbol card to quickly try to grab the totem. A "Colour Match" card forces any players that have matching coloured symbol cards into a duel. The game ends when one player is able to rid themselves of all their cards.

For the most part the WiiWare version of Jungle Speed looks and plays just like the real card game. Up to 8 players can play at one time with one player using the Wii Remote and another player using the attached Nunchuk. Turning over cards is done by pressing the "A" button on the Wii Remote and pressing any direction on the analogue stick on the Nunchuk. Reaching for the totem is done by simply shaking the Wii Remote or Nunchuk and then pressing the "B" or "Z" buttons on the Wii Remote and Nunchuk respectively to grab onto the totem. The control scheme works quite well in accurately simulating the feeling of grabbing for the totem and even faking a grab is easily executed. The game even throws in a few new twists such as the ability to play a single-player game, not to mention some of the cool visual hindrances the game tosses out like the fog that can make the symbol cards difficult to see. It's little things like this that actually makes the game even better than the original card version at times. It's clear that the developers put a lot of time and thought into the control system of Jungle Speed and the end result is well worth it. It would have been nice to have an online play feature, but given the fact that you can still play with up to 8 local players, it's difficult to complain too much.

The visuals in the game are actually fairly impressive. The backgrounds look a little bland at times, but the characters show a good amount of detail, although they are a bit on the blocky side. In truth you'll spend the majority of your time staring at a stone table with animal hands and cards on it, so the backgrounds play a very minor role in the overall scheme of things anyway. The menus are all very well designed and you'd be hard-pressed to find any faults with the overall visual presentation. There are even several different totems to choose from, each with their own unique animations. It might have been nice to have had a few more stone tables to choose from, but given the overall theme of the game, it's a very small omission in what is an otherwise solid visual experience.

The aural experience is an interesting bag. On one hand the music itself is very catchy and has a nice jungle-themed feel to it, complete with some very nicely done background vocals. The only gripe could be that most of the tunes are so similar in style and tempo that it can be difficult to differentiate between the various tracks. They're almost akin to one long song that changes hooks and melodies in different places. That being said, it is safe to say that if you like island-themed music, you're in for a real treat, as the music is quite catchy. The really cool animal sound effects also help matters as they pop up from time to time to liven things up a bit. The character voices are a bit silly, but it could be argued that they fit the circumstances when they pop up. It is worth noting that the game does feature a settings menu that will allow you to customize the volume levels of the various music and sound effects to your liking, which is a very welcome feature.


It would be easy to dismiss Jungle Speed simply because it is, at its core, basically a video game version of an entertaining card game, but if you do you'll be missing out on a wildly addictive game that you and your entire family can enjoy. In fact, the more people you can get to play the game, the more fun it becomes. While the presentation is solid, especially for a WiiWare title, it's the authentic feel of the gameplay that ends up making Jungle Speed the enjoyable experience it is. The game is probably not going to convert you if you're not already a card game fan, but if you do happen to enjoy the "real world" version of the game, you'll likely find this to be a suitable alternative, and in some ways you may even find this superior to the real thing. The 1000 Wii Point price tag is a bit steep for a game of this type, but given that the real card game itself costs at least twice that, it's actually a fairly nice bargain when you think about it in those terms.

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User Comments (54)



Omega said:

A card game? I have the impression that 1000 Points is a bit overpriced for it. Oh well! Probably it is quite nice if you are looking for some kind of multiplayer-family-entertainment. The graphics seems quite well done after all. But I think if you play alone, it becomes boring very quickly.

Er. Did I mention that I think 1000 Points is overpriced? Maybe next time they should make an RPG/Action Adventure with this graphic-style (strangely, the design reminds me somehow of Banjo Kazooie on the N64) and add "Jungle Speed" as unlockable bonus material. Then, altogether, it is certainly worth 1000 Points, maybe even 1500.



Chunky_Droid said:

They should start bringing some more card/board games to WiiWare, I hate setting up my board games now. Can't wait for Uno, but I've never tried let a lone heard of Jungle Speed before now.



Mayhem said:

No online? Pity, I think that would have added quite a bit to it...



Pablo17 said:

Nice Review. I think that 1000 is a little too much for a card game but I may give it a try.

With eight players, how do you keep track of whos turn it is or where your cards are at on the board? It looks like all you can see are animal hands, the table and the cards.



Starwolf_UK said:

The 1000 Wii Point price tag is a bit steep for a game of this type, but given that the real card game itself costs at least twice that
Colour me shocked...but not as shocked as how this weeks WiiWare games turned out (the opposite to how I thought they would)

With eight players, how do you keep track of whos turn it is.
The pack/pile of the player whose turn it is gets highlighted when it is their turn to flip.



KnucklesSonic8 said:

I was afraid the game would get bashed. Thanks for keeping an open mind about this one, Corbie. Even if it is 1000 Points, I'm really glad to hear it's enjoyable. And I'm glad NLG, the guys that oversaw Mario Strikers Charged, had a part to play in this project. It makes me wonder, though, why online wasn't added when they have experience with it. Let's hope they still add it in future titles!

@Pablo: You can keep track because at the start of the game, it shows you where each player is seated/which character everyone is.

Thanks again for the great review. I'm really excited to see more games like this come to WiiWare. Can't wait for other Board Games! I'll get UNO if it has Online Play and/or if it's set at a reasonable price.

I'm definitely giving this a try!
I heard good things from other places too about how fun it is for multiplayer so that's great to hear.



indenmark said:

500 points = 8/10 = me buying it

Playful Entertainment Inc., you just priced yourself right out of a sale!




Philip_J_Reed said:

If I had 8 friends interested to play Wii, maybe I'd do it, but I only have a few. For those, Mario Kart, Rock Band and even TV Show King keep us busy. I might pass on this.



Corbs said:

This game was a real surprise for me personally. I didn't expect much from this game, but it's actually very well done. My whole family loves it. I even went and ordered one of the real card games online after playing this video game version, and I don't even really like card games.



Twilight_Crow said:

I'd rather the real card game, it may be more expensive but I can carry it and play anywhere, it's a lot easier to gather 8 friends to play it that way, I hope other card/board games like this will show up on wiiware but, with on-line multiplayer.



Corbs said:

Agreed. Online multiplayer would have been a nice touch. I'm not sure how well the game would have played though, having to have that split second grabbing motion over an online connection with any type of lag. Might not have worked too well.



accc said:

Nice review, though based on the review text it seems more like an 8 than a 7 I thought. A polished and extremely fun party game whose only real flaw is a lack of single player content only gets a 7?



Corbs said:

There were more flaws mentioned in the review. The visuals in the background were bland and unvaried. The same was said about the playing table itself. While the musical tracks were great, they were a bit too similar to differentiate themselves from on another. The game featured no online play or even any online leaderboards of any kind. And while it is a very good card game, it's still just a card game and little more. It's a solid 7, and had it cost 500 Wii Points, it probably would have scored an 8, but the 1000 Wii Point price tag, even though it's cheaper than the real card game, is still a bit steap for a game of this nature. There are those who think I'm crazy for even giving it a 7.

And also remember that on our scoring policy grade, a 7 is not average, it's "Good."



Wiiloveit said:

Well, this is a nice little surprise. Depending on when it comes out in Europe and what other games are out on the same day / how much money I have left - I'll consider it.



amacfarlane said:

There are actually 5 music tracks in the game + the theme music. The track is picked randomly at the start of each game.



WyattEarpsGhost said:

Having played both the original and the Wiiware version, I have found that this game has taken all the right components and made an extremely fun and addicting game, especially when as mentioned you get more people playing. This is one of the best card to console conversion games I've played. As far as no online...The fun of this game is to be in a room with the people. Online would take away the intimacy and fun of the actual version. Those who have played the real version would know what I'm talking about. As far as the price....Playing the game 50+ times (cause that's how many times you'll play once you get other people involved and see how addicting it is to out speed your friends) is way better than the last 10 dollars you've spent, which is less than lunch, for some, a Mocha Frappacino and a Happy Meal, or a pack of smokes for others.

Post 14: "I'd rather the real card game, it may be more expensive but I can carry it and play anywhere."
Honestly....when was the last time you carried a board game anywhere?



slambert215 said:

Better than I expected! I like how the 8 player mode uses remotes and nunchuks instead of gamecube controllers, its easier. Also, 100 pts is a little steep, 700 or less is ok.



Dazza said:

Honestly....when was the last time you carried a board game anywhere?

I don't remember the last time I carried my Wii and a TV anywhere either!



Corbs said:

@ amacfarlane - Really? I knew there was a theme music and the musical track in the game, but I bet I've played that game for 7 hours and I didn't notice any difference. I'll check it out again to make sure they don't just sound similar.



Wiiloveit said:

Honestly....when was the last time you carried a board game anywhere?
Erm............................. a loooong time ago.



Pablo17 said:

I just down loaded this and I agree with the review score. This is a pretty fun card game that works a lot better than I thought it would. An option for eight players is nice as well.



Corbs said:

@ amacfarlane - You, my friend, are absolutely right. They are very similar, but are different tracks. I will edit the review right now. Good catch on that one. It takes a big man to admit when he's wrong. I am not a big man.

Edit: Review fixed.



Bahamut_ZERO said:

Great review Corbie, as always

I would get this but 1000 seems a bit steep. I would have defidently got it for 500, and maybe 800, but 1000 is way too much.

Also, about the 7, I called it. In a comment section a while back. I called it. Just sayin



Corbs said:

@ BahamutZERO - I remember, but if I'm not mistaken, you were mainly being sarcastic due to my love of giving out 7's.



WyattEarpsGhost said:

It's funny how everyone talks about 1000points being like the decision to buy a new car. It's really an easy decision based on Purchase Price vs. Playtime Value. I've only had it for less than 48 hours and it's cost me the equivalent of about .20cents a game....I'd say that's a smokin deal. Or in another form....While you're all complaining about price I'm writing about how much fun my friends/family are having.



EJD said:

I predicted a 6 or 7 for this game. I may consider getting this in the future but at the moment I haven't got much room left on my Wii for WiiWare. Looks like it could be a great multiplayer game but as with TV Show King, I'll hold off on this until I'm certain I'll play with others often.



Valoisian said:

Very fun. My two kids (7 and 4) and I played for about an hour and a half. My 7 year old loves it while my 4 year old just likes to participate (she asks every players turn if she should shake it). This will be even more of a blast when my wife joins. We haven't even busted into the 2nd expansion yet. I would LOVE if there were DLC for this in the future.



KnucklesSonic8 said:

I'm really happy to see all the positive comments so far.
I was afraid there would be a large swarm of negative comments, tbh.

Corbie, you raise an excellent point about online: About how with lag, it may not have worked. I bet that crossed their minds because, as I said, it's not like they don't have experience with Online.

@tatemon: You don't seem to have high hopes for a lot of WiiWare games...

@Valoisian: Any idea what DLC could include?



WyattEarpsGhost said:

I think negative comments would only come from those who haven't played the game. Also, last night was the first time my mom got excited at a video game...she beat my brother, dad and aunt. It's always funny hearing mom's trash talk.....Actual comment after winning: "Oh yeah...You guys can't handle the Monkey"



Wiiloveit said:

Also, last night was the first time my mom got excited at a video game...she beat my brother, dad and aunt. It's always funny hearing mom's trash talk.....Actual comment after winning: "Oh yeah...You guys can't handle the Monkey"
And that is the sole reason I am getting this game.



Valoisian said:

@KnucklesSonic8 - Well with any card game, you can have expansions and variants to rules. You already have 2 included. It'd be cool to have additional characters, but I'm no programmer and don't know if that would be possible. The one thing I think that definitely stands out would be additional totems with more effects. I guess it's moot...either they've already planned DLC or not.



Twilight_Crow said:

Wow, this IS what a casual game should be, not a simplified puzzle game like Hudson's Samegame; after all those comments I really wish I had a bunch of people to play this with.



KnucklesSonic8 said:

@Valoisian: But the question is, what would constitute worthwhile DLC? And if there's a presence of DLC, then it begs the question, why not Online Play?

I'm not sold on the idea of this having DLC. Otherwise it would be like FFCCMLK where DLC would be stuff that should've been in the game in the first place... FOR FREE. Y'know?

I just bought this game today. Been waiting since Monday. I hope to play it tonight! Oh, and I hope my friends don't pass it off because I REALLY wanna have a great social experience with this one. Some other WiiWare games didn't have such a good social experience with more than one person.

As an example, Gyrostarr comes to mind. Way too cluttered. I thought 3/4 Players would be fun... But I can barely see what's going on and if I'm actually doing anything worthwhile. It's one of those games that are better with one person.



KnucklesSonic8 said:

I just gave this my first try the other day and it was so much fun. I can already say it was worth 1000 Points. If you're into Multiplayer and if you keep an open mind (i.e., willing to try something different), I'm sure you'll have a great time, especially amongst friends. It can stir some heated battles and discussions. XD



Hbee said:

I've been looking for something to buy today and after reading a lot of these comments I'm compelled to ask - why do some commenters feel they can review games without playing them? How can you know if a game is worth it unless you play it? And if you're concerned about whether it's worth it, why don't you wait for others to chime in before assuming a game you haven't played will get boring?

Rather than waste everyone's time, just write "FIRST" and be done with it since that's all you're doing when you post that kind of garbage.



Wiiloveit said:

@Hbee: The reason they don't just write first and be done with it is because the comment will then be removed, genius.

Also, people tend to read reviews because they explain how good a game is, and so assume that the reviewer knows what he's talking about.

The reason people don't know whether or not it is worth buying a game is because they may not have enough money to say "hmm... I might like that, so I'll spend my ten dollars on it and hope that I don't run out of money by doing this at every game I see".

Rant wasted.



KnucklesSonic8 said:

While Wiiloveit brings up a good point, Hbee addresses similar sentiments I've personally felt especially concerning this site. People are way too cynical with regards to WiiWare games and while I can understand some of the way people feel, to write a game off so quickly is too premature. It happens all the time. This game is no exception. It's too bad because this game is stellar!



matroos said:

Good review.

I keep it simple: my score is 8/10 due to addictiveness in multi player. If you like it now, you will like it next year



Mange said:

Truly a great game. I just ordered the real thing too. Compared to the WiiWare version the real thing was very expensive. In points almost 3000 and that is without the expansion pack wich is included in the WiiWare version.

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