Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Jungle Juice

My iPad hasn't survived as a game device.  The potential for games is amazing, but something about it turns me off.  It doesn't help that the freemium/social model has gotten so popular there, resulting in an avalanche of variations on the themes of Farmville and Words With Friends.

But my Kindle survives.  The limitations of the hardware force developers into some fairly narrow genres, but it's also inspired some to put a creative spin on familiar ideas.

Jungle Juice is a Lemonade Stand game.  You figure out how much juice to make every day based on the weather, set the prices, and so on.  But two things set it apart.  First, there's just the fact that it's been so thoroughly developed.  There are three game modes, each of which has a different level of management and involvement by the player.  On the easiest setting, you just specify the number of cups per day, the price per cup, and advertising.  On the next setting, you have to manually manage stocks.  On the hardest setting, you even have to adjust your recipe to your customers' tastes.  There are upgrades to buy and achievements to earn and there's really just a whole lot to do.

The other thing is just how much personality it has.  The game is presented in a very kid-friendly kind of way, with silly talking animals and everything, but there are a lot of jokes and references for adults to pick up on -- I couldn't help smiling when I found the Metal Gear Solid joke.  It actually plays out as a story in three chapters, all about a pig who's been tricked into managing a run-down juice stand in the middle of the jungle and how he's trying to survive and, eventually, get back home.  Little events pop up here and there, and you have to decide how you're going to interact with these characters.

It's a really great game, the kind that makes me think, "I can't wait to pick up my Kindle so I can play it again."  If you have the device, then you should get it.


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