Jill of the Jungle

Critic Reviews add missing review

Average score: 74% (based on 3 ratings)

Player Reviews

Average score: 3.4 out of 5 (based on 47 ratings with 6 reviews)

It's great... but a little bit too short.

The Good
Jill of the Jungle has good graphics (because they require 256 colors, but you can run this game with 16 or even 4 colors). It supports joystick and Sound Blaster (any other sound cards aren't welcome). During the gameplay you will face many different enemies, such as snails, frogs and enormous ants, even bigger than you! But you aren't unarmed, you've got a spinning blade and a knife. You may ask, "What? Only two weapons?". And I answer: it's enough. Both weapons are powerful, you can throw a spinning blade to one of these enormous ants and they are dead! And you can morph into frog, bird and fish! Each animal has its own abilities. For example, when you are bird, you can throw fire, but you are very vulnerable to water. You will visit many different places, such as castle and plateau. Some levels also contain puzzles. Sounds are sometimes a little bit bizarre, but they're very funny and they sound pretty good. Music is just wonderful. It's various - some tracks are spooky, other are dynamic or just great. I wish I could have some of these tracks on my cell phone...

The Bad
Unfortunately, this game may look excellent, but there are some things, which decreased my rate. First, Jill has very ugly blue sky background. All puzzles can be very easily beaten (except this castle one, where you have to collect keys and jump to the right platforms. It requires some thinking and reflex). And the worst thing about Jill is length of gameplay. You can finish this game in one afternoon.

The Bottom Line
It's a very good game, if you want to play for 15 minutes or you just love 2D platform games (like me!). Unfortunately there aren't any level editors to keep this game alive longer. What a pity!

DOS · by Sir Gofermajster (485) · 2008

The game that made Epic reach stardom

The Good
Jill of the Jungle is a 256-color side-scrolling action game from Epic MegaGames. This company was the one responsible for creating the ZZT series, but it was Jill who made Epic famous. Jill is the first of a three-part series. Only this game is shareware, and this means that people are allowed to copy it, and then send those copies off to someone else. The other games in this series are Jill Goes Underground and Jill Saves the Prince, but you were required to get these two games through Epic MegaGames or a reseller in your country. Overall, a good game with nice music and excellent sound effects.

Story: Jill, a beautiful Amazon blonde who dons a green swimsuit, must survive the dangers of the jungle by making her way through various areas, using her weapons to slay certain enemies that get in her way.

Gameplay: Once you start the game, you are presented with a map. This map has a total of sixteen doors which you can enter, most of them blocked with locked doors or passages that you must unlock with gems, and most of these doors you can't get to without completing others. The doors, by the way, lead to levels that you must complete before moving onto the next one.

The first stop Jill has to make is "through the boulders". Jill is not alone here, as the first enemies that she will encounter are alligators, birds, and frogs; but later on, she'll face giant ants, bees, stingrays, piranhas, scorpions, and more. If Jill kills enemies, they will transform into different-colored balls that go off the screen. If she touches any of these nasties, she will start to lose health. Once she loses all her health, she will die and you have to start the level again. Health can be restored by collecting apples, but occasionally when you collect them, the game give you tips on how to survive, what dangers you'll face, and so on. Instead of just running around, Jill can jump onto enemies and platforms, and use her knife or spinning blade to slain enemies. With the knife, it is intelligent. You see, after the knife is thrown, it will come back to Jill, ready to be used again. The only exception to this rule is that if Jill is running away from it. Jill can also be killed if she touches water or lands on a set of spikes.

Jill can also climb vines to higher places, but even a monster can crawl up or down them. On some levels, passages are blocked by a locked door or gem gates, and as usual, you are required to unlock them with keys or gems. A few things can help you in the level. For example, even though Jill can't jump high enough, getting one or more "red up arrows" can change that. Furthermore, during the game, you get to change into a different animal like a fish, bird, or frog; and each one of them provides an advantage. The fish can swim in water, whereas the bird can fly up toward the very top of the level, and like Jill, the animals can shoot. You change into these animals by collecting their "special icon". To restore back to Jill's original form, just find her icon.

The game also has a bonus level, but this is real easy to find. All you have to do is just find the word BONUS written above a passage that leads you to lots of vines. You have access to the control panel during the game, which lets you save, restore, turn the noise on/off, enable slow motion, and more. When you save a game, you can save to six positions, and when you restore one of these positions, you resume back at the point where you save the game, not at the beginning, like you do in games from Apogee Software. Below this, your inventory is displayed, and this shows your current score, health, weapons, keys, and gems.

Graphics: They are basic. You see just a plain background on the map, with shades of blue at the top, gray in the middle, and black at the very bottom. This background is not repeated in the actual areas, as the backgrounds there make you think that you are in jungles, caves, villages, or just a colorful maze. These are the type of backgrounds that I like. Very good.

The game will look amazing if you have a VGA card installed in your machine and you state that you wish to play in VGA. This game can also be played in CGA or EGA, but Jill won't look as sexy as she does in VGA, and you have less of a gaming experience.

Sound & Music: One thing that I like about the game is the digital sound effects that you get when you play the game with your Sound Blaster, and you can listen to them all by entering the NoiseMaker, which can be accessed from the main menu. Here, you can press almost every letter on the keyboard and you'll hear a sound from the game. Speaking of sounds, by the way, some of them are quite unexpected, and some of them are appropriate to events. Jill yells out when she loses all her health, laughing sounds are heard when she makes contact with water or spikes, and a record-scratching sound is heard when you attempt to shoot when there is no knife or blade in your inventory.

This game can only be played with Sound Blaster, so it is Sound Blaster or nothing. This means that if you have any sound card other than an SB, then you will just have to put up with playing the game through the PC Speaker. Playing through PC Speaker produces different sound effects to the Sound Blaster's, so you won't be disappointed.

The Bad
The bluish background on the map doesn't fit well in the game, and needed some more detail.

You may have trouble running this game on your machine. Be warned, though, don't use DOSBox if you want to play this game, as it contains a bug. You see, if you play Jill on DOSBox for about ten minutes, the keys used to access some of the functions on the control panel won't respond, forcing you to restart DOSBox and Jill.

The Bottom Line
Epic decided to discontinue Jill ages ago, so you might want to get a copy from a friend, or browse those illegal abandonware sites.

Rating: ****

DOS · by Katakis | カタキス (43051) · 2004

Jill sprints through the jungle on a hunt for the mushroom grove

The Good
Jill is a beautiful 2D blonde who defies the "helpless" stereotype as she leaps, climbs, soars and swims her way through various dungeons. I was lucky enough to play this when I was just getting interested in computer games - it wasn't easy back then to find games with a strong female lead. There is no deep intellectual involvement here - a little puzzle-solving and weapon-throwing, but still fun after all these years. The graphics are appealing despite the blockiness; they are colorful and bright and the reds and yellows stand out like gems against the dungeon backgrounds.

Jill marked my first experience of "flying" in a game and playing as a character other than human. Being a phoenix, frog and fish were all unique adventures, and unlike some games I played later, you have to work to stay aloft or to swim. This has the benefit of involving you just that little bit more in the experience.

Jill starts the game with a dagger and later acquires a throwing-star. The dagger returns to you boomerang style, but if you're not careful you can lose it in a lava pit. The throwing-star is a particularly satisfying weapon for demolishing boulders, which make a nice shattering sound.

The background music is low-key and unobtrusive. Sound effects are just wonderful throughout the game, from the oddly frightening "ah" sound the evil frogs make (Yes, scary frogs!)to Jill's "got the apple powerup" noise. You can play back all the special effects sounds to your hearts content on the clever little noisemaker feature outside the game.

The Bad
I find it really unfortunate that Epic abandoned Jill after the trilogy; just think what adventures she might be having now!

The Bottom Line
I love this game! It's mildly challenging, graphically beautiful, and it has a quality of innocence that makes me return to it again and again.

DOS · by DJP Mom (11318) · 2007


The Good
A simple and neat shareware platform game, I got Jill of the Jungle when I was about 9 or 10 as a gift in a chocolate package. It didn't work on my computer (XT) of course, so I had to go to the neighbours to play it on their 386. But it was worth it: cool (if not amazing) graphics, good music, great (or so I thought) PC-speaker sound effects and fun, fun gameplay made it an instant favorite of mine (and my brother's too). It's just plain cool, and I still play it from time to time to this day (pathetic, I know).

The Bad
The controls are programmed slightly on the bad side and tend to occasionally function erratically; the sound effects/music routines aren't very well programmed either and do not work on newer computers (mine at least). Also, the premise is really stupid - but that's part of the charm :-)

The Bottom Line
A really cool shareware game. Play it, you'll like it.

DOS · by Tomer Gabel (4539) · 2000

An all time classic, hands down, no doubt.

The Good
When you get into the game, you are surrounded by lush graphics, great gameplay, wonderful sound (in Win95 or lower) and a 4, 16, or 256 color pixelated babe. I got this game off a CD-rom that had about 25 shareware titles on it when I was 6, and I have been stuck to it ever since. Jill has 14 levels, and two bonus levels that are not too hard to get to. It has no bosses, no blood, no excessive violence, just pure platforming. It has interesting ideas (the elevators are very original, and the Pac-Man style ghosts are cool. Oh, and the crabs, alligators, huge floating eyes, birds that look like butterflies, frogs, bees, giant ants, and those little blue things that get in your way on the chains are nice, too). The music is so memorable I still remember it today. It even has a very nice Save feature. I have fond memories of sitting at my family's new 75 mhz Pentium Packard Bell PC with Win95 on it, and playing it for hours. And a year or two later I ordered the full version and discovered the frustration of the heck level with Jill Goes Underground, and the equally fun Jill Saves The Prince. I still play it (and beat it) today, and I never get sick of it. This is my favorite PC action game of all time, and always will be. Period.

The Bad
The only negatives I can give about this game is that it will not run at all under a WinOS later than 98 SE (based on my personal experience, of course), which is a huge pain in the a for all of us XP users, the Sound Blaster effects and music won't run under anything later than 95 (again, based on personal experience), and it is just a tad too easy, but that's probably just me after playing it for six years, not to mention that I've beat it several times.

The Bottom Line**
If you have Windows 98 SE or lower, GET THIS GAME NOW. I don't care if it's the shareware version (which you can download just about anywhere) or the full version (you should get both), this game is an absolute PC platforming classic, and will live on forever in the history of video and PC games.

DOS · by zoinknoise (80) · 2002

A great, albeit simple platform game.

The Good
I've been a fan of this game ever since I was very young. In my opinion it looks fantastic; the VGA graphics look colourful and striking. The gameplay is fun and not too hard to master, and the music is very catchy.

The Bad
Some of the puzzles aren't very difficult, but this is balanced out by the others that are. I also have a few problems with the knife-that-comes-back-when-you-fire, which can be a bit difficult to control and indeed doesn't always come back.

The Bottom Line
A bit of fun for those who like platformers. It's hardly a lengthy or challenging game; it's just a great bit of fun.

DOS · by Adam Holman (3) · 2005

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by RealityHacker, LeftHandedMatt, Alsy.