Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Tokyo Jungle

Review: Tokyo Jungle

10:00 AM on 09.13.2012 // Dale North
  @DaleNorth

We're not sure what took so long for Tokyo Jungle to be localized (we first played it at the 2010 Tokyo Game Show), but it's finally here and it's every bit as silly and hilarious as we had hoped it would be.  

This action/survival game, set in post-apocalyptic Tokyo, stars all the animals that survived when the humans disappeared, with a fuzzy little Pomeranian puppy being the game's banner character. With food supplies depleted and no humans around to feed them, these animals are forced to take to the gritty, urban streets of Tokyo to fend for themselves. And when they find there's no food out there? 

Well, they begin to eat each other.

Tokyo Jungle (PlayStation Network)
Developer: C.A.M.P, Crispy's
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Released: September 25, 2012 
MSRP: $14.99

First off, if you don't laugh your ass off at Tokyo Jungle, there's something seriously wrong with you. It's not the deepest or most polished game out there, but it makes up for any faults with ceaseless hilarity. Reading about how you'll first control a cute little Pomeranian pup to go up against other animals is one thing, but actually mashing the button to have the little guy swipe his paw at a roaring lion -- or a massive, chomping alligator -- is another. And when you nail a perfect takedown, where blood spurts from your prey's neck? Uproarious! I've dumped a lot of time into Tokyo Jungle's survival mode this past week, but the strangeness of its setting has yet to wear off for me. 

Alligators and lions, you ask? Oh yes, as well as many other animals that you wouldn't expect to find among the highrise buildings of Japan's capital. Domesticated animals like dogs, cats, and rabbits run wild in the streets alongside beasts from the rural outer fringes, like pigs and deer. The really crazy animals, such as hyenas and bears, originate from the city zoo, now out on the loose to find enough prey to live through another day.

Survival is key in Tokyo Jungle. The game's primary mode has you selecting an animal and immediately hitting the streets to look for prey to munch on. For every second that you're not eating, a hunger gauge continually decreases. When that gauge is fully depleted, your life bar begins to decrease, bringing you closer to death. It's as simple as kill (and eat) or die. When you finally do die, the game rates you on how long you've managed to stay alive.

For the carnivores, learning to hunt is the only thing that will have them seeing another day. Early on, animals will have to track down smaller prey, like birds and rabbits, as anything else would be too dangerous to take on directly. But as the animal eats these smaller prey, it becomes larger and stronger, enabling it to take down bigger beasts and have an even meatier meal. All the while their caloric intake is counted; more food eaten makes for a stronger animal.

These animals have both a clawing and biting attack to work with in the jungle. Clawing (square button) will swipe away at an enemy's life bar slowly, and biting (right button) will have it literally going for the jugular with a dash attack. Once dead, and if the coast is clear, the animal can begin devouring its kill, with each bite turning into experience points that can lead to increased levels. Only having two attacks may sound limiting, but it turns out that each animal type requires a slightly different approach. Plus, I never felt like scratching the faces off of cats was anything less than entertaining.

Stealth play comes in handy when you have a small animal that is going up against a much larger one -- or worse, a full pack of beasts. All animals can quietly creep in high grass scattered all over the city to try to stay concealed until an attack opportunity arises. Hidden there, a correctly timed press of the bite button has the attacker jumping out and latching onto its prey's neck directly, instantly killing it. At the very top level, thorough patience, it's possible for even a little puppy to take down huge jungle-type creatures. And, as I said before, it's never not funny.

Stealth play is the only way to go for the herbivores. Playing as a deer, for example, is much different than playing as a dog. The deer is forced to sneak around and nibble on plant life, working to avoid falling prey to roaming carnivores. It may have speed on its side, but they're always on the move as edible plant life is scarce in this post-apocalyptic world. Herbivores do have attack abilities, but they're more for defense, as a kill will never be a meal for these animals. 

All animals can increase their chances of survival by mating. This involves "marking" territory in a given area, finding a compatible mate, taking it back to the nest, and then mounting that mate (Really! The mounting is shown) to make babies. If all goes right, the offspring will take on some of the traits and abilities of the parents, and then travel in a pack to carry on in the world. The pack works together from then on out while hunting and exploring, and should one member die, another immediately takes over. Hopefully, at least one will survive to find its mate to have their own offspring, bringing another generation into the world. 

Although there's a lot to take in here, in practice, the gameplay really is as simple as trying to live for as long as possible. While there are equippable items (your dog can wear a cute hat or jacket) to find to improve stats a bit, Tokyo Jungle's survival game really boils down to scrambling to find enough food to last until you find a mate, procreating, and then doing it again. I've had stretches where I've lived through five or six generations and dozens of years, through rain storms, animal revolts, and toxic air outbreaks. But you will eventually die. That's just how it is.

Each animal type has a list of challenges to take on to keep things interesting in survival mode. Early challenges have the animal doing simple things, like racking up kills, or marking territory. High-level challenges are more like quests, and have animals working to dominate an area. The top-level quest for the Pomeranian has it going to one district of Tokyo to take out all the cats in an all-out turf war. It gets messy! Completion of these top-level challenges unlocks a new animal to play as in survival mode.

Tokyo Jungle's story mode features unlockable chapters (earned in survival mode) where some animals star in their own special tale. They use artwork and text to set up situations with a bit of a backstory, though the stories are pretty silly. Gameplay consists of missions that use survival mode's combat and exploration play, making for bite-sized sessions that aren't too much different than the game's main mode. While these stories can be fun, they don't have the holding power that the survival mode does.

While mutilating and devouring the flesh of cute little animals under ruined, famous Japanese landmarks is a riot, there's not much more than this to do in Tokyo Jungle. The control is sufficient, and the hunting action is quite fun, but as soon as the thrill of the hunt wears off, it's really just running around in circles until you eventually die. And, unfortunately, there's not too much of a difference in the way the various animals control, which doesn't help the feeling of repetitiveness.

While some may take pleasure in trying to top the leaderboards for their survival skills, I feel that most will quickly tire of this game after putting it through its paces.

That said, you should still dive into Tokyo Jungle. While a bit shallow, it's an insane idea done really well. If nothing else, it's worth your cash just to see your fantasy animal match-ups go down. Really, you haven't lived until you've seen a pack of puppies take down an alligator.



THE VERDICT

7.5

Tokyo Jungle - Reviewed by Dale North
Likable - That's a seven, which is actually a different number than five. It's more than ok. We like this game. I don't want to play it every day forever and ever, but it's definitely worth the time I invested in it, and I'll be picking it up again to relive the fun sometime down the line.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Dale North, Former Dtoid EIC
 Follow Blog + disclosure DaleNorth Tips
I am Destructoid's Editor-In-Chief. I love corgis. I make music. more   |   staff directory



 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Tokyo Jungle


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Roses are black, PS4 lights are blue; This is a game, and it has valkyries too?

Cblogs of 02/10/16 and WONDER-isms

Modern face of survival horror

Discussion Discussion on Games

PStoid Episode 38: Doomed from the Box Art

Cblogs of 2/9/16 - Only Slightly Late Edition

Narrative Mistakes: Mass Effect's Reapers As Primary Villains

Journey to Become a Jedi Knight - Jedi Outcast

Waifu Wars - The End

Hindsight Part II: Unreleased Games of the Past

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Torchman avatarTorchman
WHY DO THEY GET SOUNDS BUT PIKACHU AND CHARIZARD CAN'T. WTF
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Finished my Storge set and 4/5ths of that was on the clock today o_O I also got a dragonlord eyepatch, which is totally practical covering the right eye when Cyndel's hair covers up the left eye.
Lawman avatarLawman
So Zack Furniss told me I should play Dying Light on Hard. Guess who's never listening to Zack Furniss again? :-/
EdgyDude avatarEdgyDude
Deadpool spoilers: He gets cancer.
beargreasey avatarbeargreasey
So Kanye just announced his new game, Only Once. It looks beautiful and personal. It's just a shame that I still have no idea what it is.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I dunno why people are getting so huffy about Windows Store / XbOne Quantum Break crossbuy. It means double the gamerscore for me, and AW and AW:AN are rereleasing on the One so I'll have owned them 3 times over. Great games.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
I once considered pitching an idea for a Dtoid Australia podcast, but then I realised it'd probably just be Zyk and I getting drunk on Foster's and complaining about Atlus for half an hour each week while incessantly calling each other cunts.
Parismio avatarParismio
New Splatfest is Pokemon Red vs Pokemon Blue. Im Blue Team bitches!
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Been sick but these pills are fixing me right up. [img]http://www.azquotes.com/picture-quotes/quote-don-t-call-it-a-comeback-i-ve-been-here-for-years-ll-cool-j-63-60-01.jpg[/img]
KingSigy avatarKingSigy
Why is it impossible to find a raid group in Destiny? Am I just cursed or something? All I want is to get a clan and do a raid.
ikiryou avatarikiryou
I don't even care how the rest of this day is.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
*Starts up XCOM: UFO Defense* Alright, I'm ready to do this...hmmmm...not much going on. Space ship! Shot it down! Lets fight, I've played XCOM...wait...what the fuck do all these buttons do? Alright I got it now! Annnnnd 1/6 soldiers survived. Hmmm.
BaronVonSnakPak avatarBaronVonSnakPak
Going to Deadpool in 45 minutes. I can't wait to see Ryan Reynolds junk.
jak2364 avatarjak2364
http://www.game.co.uk/en/dying-light-the-following-the-spotlight-edition-only-at-game-298773 I'll need to ask for a credit line increase, but sure, why not?
Nathan D avatarNathan D
Hnnnggg. My End of Evangelion video I made like 2 years ago has almost 700,000 views. I never thought it'd get this far. It was the first video I ever made and just did it for fun. Guess I have an eye for editing and an ear for music placement.
gajknight avatargajknight
I want to listen to classical music. But I'm in a funky mood right now. The solution?
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Been watching Better Call Saul, being a pretty big fan of Breaking Bad, and it's been pretty decent. Like a b-side to BB. But, this scene with Trevor (GTAV)-famous Steven Ogg has been my highlight. There's more to it before this, but it's the best part.
Parismio avatarParismio
Whens the racist Wakka animation?:
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Well, wherever you are, Human...
jak2364 avatarjak2364
...Well, nice to know I could improve a game I didn't take a survey on!
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -