Travel through the jungle as Tarzan as he grows up from boy to man, and help him save his home from Clayton the Gorilla Hunter.
Platform: Playstation 1, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, PSP, Gameboy Colour, PC, Nintendo 64
Players: 1 player
Age: 3 plus
Game Time: 12 hours
Developer or Designer: Eurocom
Follows the film's plot closely
Jumping from vines is awkward
Animal 'trampolines' don't always move when you want them too.
Any fan of Disney's Tarzan
movie will enjoy the video game version that was released for the Playstation One in 1999. It sticks to the plot precisely, each level beginning with a clip from the movie. The gameplay is in my favourite format, that of a side scrolling platformer, in which you jump over cliffs, climb rock faces, and swing through the tree tops on vines.
Disney games often get a poor reputation of being very simplistic, easy, and aimed at young children, but Disney's Tarzan
is just as suitable for adults. There are three difficulty levels; I usually play on medium, which can be fairly challenging at times, while on the hard setting it is definitely tough to get 100%. The comes in returning to those levels and trying to collect anything you might have missed.
Collectibles include tokens (get a hundred for an extra life), fruit to throw at enemies (some colours are more powerful than others), and the letters of Tarzan's name, which unlocks a new movie clip and lets you progress to the next level. There are also four pieces of Jane's torn up monkey sketch; if you get all of these, it opens a bonus level.
This is a chance to collect extra tokens and earn more lives. There is no finish line that you have to reach, but rather a timer, and you pick up as much as you can before the clock reaches zero. Collecting tokens is more tricky on the bonus levels because you are not walking through a 2D side scroller, but riding on lily pads or animals in an environment that has more depth of movement.
Most of the game is spent playing as Tarzan, first as a young boy learning how to be a gorilla, and later a fully grown ape man. There are some levels, however, where you get to play other characters, such as Jane escaping the baboons, or Terk in the human encampment.
For the most part, the controls are easy to use, but there are two occasions when gameplay is a little awkward. First with the vines. You can jump onto and swing from a vine, but as soon as you start climbing it, you can not start to swing again. If you try to jump off, you can't move left or right, you simply fall straight down; this makes it near impossible to reach the items at the top.
While most of the animals you encounter are foes, there are a few that come in handy, such as elephants, deer, and boars. They acts as trampolines to reach over-hanging tokens. Unfortunately they don't always move when you want them to, and you can sometimes end up waiting for ages before they get into the right position.
Compared to games today, it is clearly not as sophisticated, but sometime simplicity is key, especially if you don't want to dedicate too much time or commitment into a gaming session. You can buy the game from the second hand market, or download it for modern consoles from the Playstation Store