Parents' Guide to

George of the Jungle and the Search for the Secret

By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

A flat adaptation of a so-so cartoon.

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This could have a been a terrific game for young kids, providing the same sort of satisfying introduction to the joys of platform adventure games as Go Diego Go! Safari Rescue. And, during the first few minutes, which see players performing lots of fun and easy leaps and landings as they steer George through a bright and prettily drawn jungle, it appears to be that game. Unfortunately, it doesn't take long for things to take a turn for the worse. Seemingly driven by the need to make some use of the Wii's novel motion sensitive functionality, the game's developers have made many of George's abilities dependant on complex and unintuitive physical arm and hand movements. Simple actions, such as running into trees to knock down coins, are consequently far more frustrating than they ought to be.

But the game's biggest problem is combat. George's battles against apes, crocodiles, and a few other foes are clunky and tedious. What's worse, it takes only a few hits for George to be rendered unconscious, costing the player a life and sending him or her back to the last checkpoint. Get knocked out a few times and all the way back to the beginning of the level you go. The boss battles at the end of each level are even more maddening, thanks to a combination of clumsy motion sensitive controls and a lack of instructions explaining how to beat them. It adds a completely unnecessary level of difficulty to a game ostensibly designed for young children. The pity of it all is that combat isn't even a fundamental facet of platform games. Had George of the Jungle been made without any combat at all the game would have been an infinitely more enjoyable experience.

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