FutureFive New Zealand logo
Consumer technology news from the future
Story image

Game Review: Tokyo Jungle

By Damian Seeto
Fri 14 Sep 2012
FYI, this story is more than a year old

There are only a handful of games out there that allow you to play as real animals. There are some games that feature humanoid animals such the famous Sonic the Hedgehog series and Crash Bandicoot, although very few games make you see the world through the eyes of a real life animal. Tokyo Jungle for the Playstation 3, is one such game that allows you to be a number of different wildlife as they try and survive in a world devoid of human life.

The game is set in a dystopian future where humans have all died out and all that is left are animals roaming the streets of Tokyo. Pets are left alone trying to find food for themselves while all of the zoo animals free to roam wherever they want to. With a mixture of both herbivores and carnivores free to run all over Tokyo, it becomes a “survival of the fittest”.

One of the best things about Tokyo Jungle is the number of playable animals that are available in this game. All players start off small as you can only be a miniscule Pomeranian dog or a Sika deer at first. The more challenges you complete in the game’s survival mode, the more animals you will be able to unlock. This includes a mix of animals from all around the world such as a lion, tiger, elephant and even a velociraptor! Some more elusive animals are only available to buy from the PlayStation Store such as an alligator, a panda and others.

If you ever wanted to know what it was like living like an animal, Tokyo Jungle is the only game that will allow you to live this experience vicariously. I remember an old Simpsons episode where Homer said that all that animals do is “sleep, eat and mate”. These three fundamentals of all life is the entire basis of this game as you will need to eat constantly and reproduce offspring if you want your species to survive the harsh conditions of this desolate Tokyo city.

The tutorial is a great introduction to the game’s controls and overall premise. As aforementioned, you have the chance to play as both carnivores and herbivores and obviously each of them feed on different kinds of food. As a carnivore, you have to hunt for your own food. You can do this by stalking your prey by hiding amongst the tall grass. There are times you will encounter animals that are several times bigger and stronger than you so it’s best to leave those animals alone. Herbivores have to find plants to eat, although this is easier said than done when there are a whole lot of meat-eaters around. To make life easier for you, you can hide underneath a dumpster to move around much like Solid Snake conceals himself under a cardboard box!

Another interesting aspect of Tokyo Jungle is mating. You have to “mark your territory” around a specific area in the city to attract a number of females. Some females have high standards and only want to mate the best and strongest males. If this happens, you have to impress them by doing more hunting and/or eating in the area. Some females are desperate and want to mate immediately although these females are usually dirty and will give you fleas! If you have fleas, you will need to bathe in any water you may find to get rid of them.

Once you have found a female to mate, you will have a number of offspring. The funny part about this game is that you will now take control of the offspring you’ve just spawned and can no longer control your dad. If you mated with a desperate flea ridden female, you will only have 2 children. However, if you fall in love with a healthier female partner, you will have 4 healthy offspring in your control. The more offspring you can control, your chances of survival increases because you have backup to help you fight other animals, or you can use them as bait while you’re running away from a more powerful enemy.

Tokyo Jungle is a very fun and unique game but there are major flaws in the game design that prevent it from being a fully enjoyable experience. First of all, you cannot progress in the game’s story mode by simply completing the chapters like in a normal video game. No, you have to collect blue icons called “archives” that are littered throughout the game’s other mode called Survival. This is easier said than done because the game’s Survival mode is painfully difficult and the archives are usually spread so far apart. Not to mention, you have to do this EVERY time you want to unlock a new chapter in the story mode…

Another thing that makes this game somewhat a frustrating experience is that your animals get hungry almost every second. If your hunger meter depletes to zero, it will then deplete your life bar meaning you will be dead unless you find some food to consume. It’s very annoying because your hunger meter depletes literally every second even after you’ve just eaten a decent meal. This becomes an even agonizing experience when it becomes nighttime because all of the animals and plants aren’t out and you’re walking around the city starving to death…

The story mode itself is pretty enjoyable; too bad you have to play through the game’s hard Survival mode over and over again just to unlock a new chapter for it. One of my favorite stories was being a lioness and having to hunt food for her family. One of the animals you had to kill was a Kangaroo with boxing gloves. He even had an army of rabbits with him also with boxing gloves.

Graphically, Tokyo Jungle is nothing special. The game looks more like a PS2 game more than anything else. The city of Tokyo looks bland and lacks any details and even the animal character models don’t look as furry as they should be.

Toyko Jungle is a unique game and it’s unlikely you will encounter another game like it. It’s rather fun playing as different kinds of animals and the game’s humor is sure to put a smile on people’s faces. Sadly, the game’s major flaws prevent me from recommending this game to everyone. If you don’t have patience, the difficulty curve is pretty steep and who made the bright idea make the story mode inaccessible unless you collect icons from an entirely separate mode? Tokyo Jungle would have been a modern favorite game of mine had it been structured like a normal video game where you can progress through the story mode by actually playing the story mode…

Graphics: 6.0

Sound: 7.0

Gameplay: 7.0

Lasting Appeal 7.5

Overall: 6.5

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Apple
Apple previews new features for users with disabilities
Apple says new software features that offer users with disabilities new tools for navigation, health and communication, are set to come out later this year.
Story image
Gaming
PNY launches XLR8 Gaming EPIX memory products in A/NZ
PNY has launched its XLR8 Gaming EPIC-X RGB™ DDR4 Silver 3200MHz and 3600MHz memory products in Australia and New Zealand.
Story image
WolfVision
WolfVision announces new range of visualisers
WolfVision has announced a new range of visualisers to help meet multiple industry demands for remote learning and educational solutions.
Story image
PaaS
New digital traffic light system to tackle construction defects
Smarter Defects Management launches its PaaS digital system and says it will revolutionise managing defects in the construction industry.
Story image
Gaming
Game review: MLB The Show 22 (PS5)
Historically the MLB The Show series has been exclusive to PlayStation consoles, but now the franchise is expanding.
Story image
Microsoft
Microsoft backing Māori and Pacific wāhine in tech industry
A new initiative focused on getting Māori and Pacific wāhine into the tech industry and backed by Microsoft, NZTech and the government is calling for tech companies to get involved.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Significant spike in consumer fraud, new report finds
Reported cases of consumer fraud more than tripled in the years 2020-2021 from prior years, according to a new report by Accenture.
Story image
Sustainability
Can bots succeed where humans have failed in sustainability?
People want businesses to turn talk into action, and believe technology can help businesses succeed where people have failed.  
Story image
Gaming
Hands-on review: The A500 Mini Retro Gaming Console
Retro Games, the UK outfit responsible for a range of retro gaming devices from joystick to full-sized Vic-20s and C64 emulators, have launched their A500 Mini Retro Gaming Console.
Story image
Review
Hands-on review: MSI MPG Z690 Carbon WIFI motherboard
It’s all change with Intel’s 12th generation CPUs. We have a new chipset in the 600-series, a new socket with the LGA 1700, and new DDR5 memory.
Story image
Design
Dynabook launches new Tecra A40-K and A50-K models
Dynabook has announced two new additions to its Tecra range, with both said to help promote flexible working solutions while also reducing the strain on IT managers.
Story image
Mobility
Hands-on review: STM laptop bags
The advent of hybrid working has meant we need laptop bags. We got our hands on two of the most popular laptop bags from STM.
Story image
Music
Hands-on review: JBL Partybox 110 Bluetooth speaker
My first review in a long time is sure to create a lot of noise, if the experience in my household has been anything to go by.
Story image
Gaming
Hands-on review: 32GB PNY XLR8 Gaming MAKO 6000MHz DDR5 memory kit
PNY’s XLR8 Gaming MAKO DDR5 memory modules are designed to get the most out of systems based on Intel’s 12th generation Alder Lake CPUs.
Story image
Gaming
Hands-on review: Ghostwire Tokyo (PS5)
Although a bit of a tonal departure for Bethesda, Ghostwire Toyko is a good-looking and eerie action game that is aimed at a very select audience.
Story image
Dynabook
Dynabook A/NZ announces new Portégé X40L-K hyperlight laptop
Dynabook A/NZ has unveiled the all-new Portégé X40L-K, a hyperlight 14.0" modern laptop utilising cutting-edge, high-performance computing power.
Story image
Review
Hands-on-review: Creative Outlier Air V3
Creative is back with the third version of its affordable Outlier Air wireless earbuds range - aptly named the ‘V3’. And this time, they come boasting ambient mode and active noise reduction.
Story image
Wireless
Sony to bring new 1000X series WH-1000XM5 headphones to the market
Sony has announced the newest edition of its award-winning wireless headphones, with the 1000X series WH-1000XM5 noise-cancelling model.
Story image
Gaming
Game review: Weird West (PlayStation 4)
There have been many games released over the years based on the wild west era, but Weird West is one of the most unique.
Story image
Gaming
Game review: Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga (Xbox Series X)
The Lego Star Wars games have always been popular with both kids and adults as they are a cute way to relive the famous movies.
Story image
NFT
Emirates to launch NFTs and experiences in the metaverse
"Emirates has embraced advanced technologies to improve business processes, enhance our customer offering, and enrich our employees' skills and experiences."
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Tell-tale hints before volcanic eruptions found using AI
Researchers have pinpointed precursors to volcanic eruptions, in data collected before explosions including the deadly 2019 Whakaari surge that killed 22 people.
Story image
E-waste
NZ’s first and only e-waste sorting machine launched
Computer Recycling launches e-waste shredder and MSS optical sorting machine BLUBOX, which is able to sort out a tonne of e-waste per hour
Story image
i-PRO
i-Pro announces newest solutions as rebranded enterprise
i-PRO APAC Oceania has introduced its newest high-resolution mid-range cameras, with combined edge AI analytics and resolutions of up to 4K.
Story image
Review
Hands-on review: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition
In almost every respect it works like a book, apart from the fact that it weighs next to nothing, fits in my hand perfectly, and is soothing on my eyes.
Story image
Gaming
Hands-on review: Intel Core i7-12700 CPU
Intel’s middle-of-the-road 12th generation Core i7-12700 offers performance at a lower price than the pricey Core i9 for users that are not fussed by overclocking.
Booster
Booster Innovation Fund. A fund of Kiwi ingenuity – for Kiwi investors.
Link image
Story image
Collaboration
TikTok launches community-inspired effect capability
TikTok has announced the launch of its Effect House feature to allow its users to create and share Community Effects.
Story image
Wireless
Hands-on review: Steelseries Aerox 9 Wireless and Aerox 5 gaming mice
Steelseries offered two interesting mice for review, the Aerox 9 Wireless, aimed at MMO/MOBA players, and the Aerox 5, a wired mouse for multi-genre use.
Story image
Gaming
Game review: Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands (PC)
Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is a spin-off that joins Borderlands, Borderlands 2, Borderlands 3, and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel.
Story image
Wireless
Hands-on review: Technics EAH-A800 Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones
Designed in Osaka, Japan, these headphones just exude quality. They aren’t heavy, but they feel well built and solid.
Story image
Microsoft
Microsoft unveils adaptive accessories for disability access
Microsoft is introducing an expansive Inclusive Tech Lab to give people with disabilities greater access to technology through new software features and adaptive accessories.
Story image
D-Link
D-Link launches new G415 Smart Router as part of EAGLE PRO AI range
D-Link A/NZ has announced the launch of its new G415 AX1500 4G Smart Router as part of the new EAGLE PRO AI Series.
Story image
IDC
IDC finds 3.9% decline in worldwide tablet shipments
Preliminary data from IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker has found tablet shipments reached 38.4 million units during Q1 2022, a year-over-year decline of 3.9%.
Story image
Gaming
Mastercard users can now use rewards points in gaming
Mastercard has launched Mastercard Gamer Xchange (MGX), allowing APAC consumers to convert their rewards points into gaming currency.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Google to enter the smartwatch market with the Google Pixel Watch
Google has provided a first look at its new Google Pixel Watch, which is set to make an entry into the competitive smartwatch market.
Story image
Logitech
Logitech releases new mouse with ergonomic and sustainable focus
Logitech has announced the Logitech Signature M650 Mouse and the Signature M650 for Business Wireless Mouse, both with new ergonomic features and capabilities.
Story image
Gaming
Study reveals Minecraft the hardest mobile game ever
According to a study by Mozillion, Minecraft: Pocket Edition tops the list as both the most searched for game and the one players need help with and try to cheat the most.
Story image
Malware
Vulnerabilities in Lenovo laptops expose users to UEFI malware
Researchers at ESET have discovered three vulnerabilities affecting various Lenovo consumer laptop models.
Story image
Jabra
Jabra reveals its latest portable headset Engage 55
Jabra has launched the Engage 55, the newest product in Jabra's Engage series designed for ultimate call security and quality.
Story image
Norton
Hands-on review: Norton Anti Track 19 software
We get hands on with Norton's new privacy tool that was introduced in March 2022.
Story image
Online shopping
A/NZ shoppers plan to spend less, be more selective
For retailers, 2022 is set to be a year of introspection as shoppers across Australia and New Zealand indicate they plan to spend less.
Story image
Review
Hands-on-review: GoPro Hero 10
I have a long history with GoPro; I still remember getting my first camera when I was 16, using it to film Parkour and the day I lost it down a dingey crag. 
Story image
Poly
Poly introduces new smart devices and announces Amazon e-store in Australia
Poly is introducing two new pro-grade devices to the market and announcing its first official Australian e-store on Amazon.