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If at first you don't succeed, try again— harder. That seems to be Atari's motto these days, because their new translation of Jungle Hunt for the 5200 format is a big (if not truly vast) improvement over the lackluster VCS version. Not all that improvement can be chalked up to the extra program muscle in the 5200, either. Somebody seems to have worked extra hard to make this cart not only look but also play better than the 2600 version.
Jungle Hunt isn't really an upgrade to the Pitfall! experience as it's a platformer that takes you through several levels and repeats once you rescue the girl. One benefit is its difficulty - plenty of challenges! It's a fun game, but not really our cup of tea or pot of stew with deference to the cannibals.
I was fairly good at Jungle Hunt in the arcade and could breeze through the 2600 version, but I really had to concentrate with this one. It's tough! You control an explorer forging his way through four jungle stages. The first stage is all about timing as you swing from vine to vine. The foliage looks good enough, but the plain blue background isn't too impressive. The second stage begins as your man dives into a crocodile-infested river. The control is lacking in this stage - it's difficult to swim and VERY hard to stab the crocs. Avoidance is the best strategy. In the third stage you leap over or duck under boulders rolling down a hill. It's no problem with one coming at a time, but two boulders will really throw off your timing. The final stage (featuring two natives with spears) looks terrific, as your captive girlfriend hangs over a boiling cauldron on the left of the screen. Despite a high level of difficulty, Jungle Hunt is still a fun little romp.