Jumanji The Mobile Game Review

Jumanji The Mobile Game

Movie tie-in games are usually in one of two camps. They either suck or they are great. There is no real middle ground with licensed games in general, especially movie tie-ins. Now, Jumanji The Mobile Game could have easily been an endless running game. I fully expected it. I was prepared to tear it a new one in a review if it was and if it was not simply spectacular. By the way, I am not a fan of endless running games. I am glad to say though, Jumanji The Mobile Game is not an endless running game, instead the developers went a different direction here and created a board game. The only other genre that a movie like Jumanji would lend itself to with any degree of success.

It does mix board games with card collecting. Now, I am not a fan of endless runners first then collectible card games second. I can deal with card collecting if there is a decent game surrounding that mechanic. Jumanji The Mobile Game is certainly one of the few games I can tell you that has mixed card collecting with another genre and kept it fun.

Jumanji The Mobile Game

The story for Jumanji doesn’t follow the move all that much. There are a few ques to the movie such as the characters after they are sucked into the game. The graphics artist for this game must have used Dwayne Johnson’s model from WWE Champions because he is cartoony buffed beyond belief. All the characters are very exaggerated in their features, so it is no biggie. I grew up watching He-Man, so I am not shocked at the character designs, just now that I am an adult I see how goofy this art style looks.

Playing Jumanji The Mobile Game is simple. Complete the tutorial for the basics and a bonus, as usual for mobile games today. Each board has slight differences compared to other boards. One may have a snake tile that will randomly hold your character for one turn, or many. Another board may have helpful tiles placed on it.

Jumanji The Mobile Game

It is no Monopoly, but it is still fun

To get around the board you roll a set of dice and move those number of spaces. The board is made up of tile spaces in a circular layout with no branching paths to worry about. It is just you against an opponent and the hazards of the current board. That and whatever cards your enemy has stocked their deck with.

As you land on empty places, you can build camp bases which pay you when you pass the starting point. When you land on a base you already built you level it up. If anyone lands on a base of their opponent, you have the choice to pay the toll for safe passage or challenge the owner.

The main characters can be upgraded by finding cards in backpacks found from levelling up, completing challenges, etc. These are basically loot boxes. Each backpack requires time to open. You can pay gems to open immediately or wait the required amount of time. Gems are the item that you are going to find are hard to keep around and are easily replenished by buying them with real money.

Jumanji The Mobile Game

Grind or pay, those are the only way in Jumanji The Mobile Game

The cards are where the strategy comes into play. When you earn new cards, you can use them to upgrade characters or swap in new characters on your deck. When you find a card that you already have, you can upgrade that card if you have the cash available (each upgrade costs more than the last).

When you land on a tile owned by the enemy then you battle. The attack level of the offensive character is compared to the defensive score of the defending one. A roll of the dice can change the outcome rather quickly because whatever you roll is added to your score there. If I have an attack of 8 and you have a defense of 5 it seems I am going to win, right? Well, I roll a one and you roll a six which makes the scores nine to eleven and you will win. There is something to be said for the gamble that you can take with battles. The rewards are obviously better for the winner if you fight.

The winning requirements are simple to keep in mind. There are three ways to win. One method of winning is to get a monopoly over a portion of the board which is broken up into regions of three, three, and four tiles. Getting all the tiles in one region is a win for you. Another method is to bankrupt your opponent. Finally, if you can make it to round 12, the final round, and have more coins than your opponent, you win.

Sounds easy, doesn’t it?

There are cards that will help you move around the deck, steal coins from your opponent, beef up your bases, weaken theirs, etc. The trick is knowing which cards to bring into the game. Each card requires time to power up and you can only use one per round. There are some cards that can be used together in a combo but those take long term planning to pull off. That is if you make it that long.

Jumanji The Mobile Game

Your main character card can be upgraded just like any other card

I wanted to hate Jumanji The Mobile Game when I first started playing it. Then after about an hour of playing I realized it is decent. It is not as deep as Monopoly, but it also doesn’t require four players to have an enjoyable time or hours to beat a board. Boards are played out against real people in real time – like that Power Rangers mobile game.

Jumanji The Mobile Game is an interesting take on the movie and goes in a direction I was completely blindsided by (I simply clicked download before looking at the pics). Don’t go into this game expecting the movie on your phone with you controlling the characters. This is more of a stand-alone game which happens to share character likenesses with the movie and not much else. That is fine with me as the game can stand on its own and stand it does.

Jumanji The Mobile Game by NHN Entertainment Corp
Platform: Android (Ascend XT2 used for review) and iPhone
Genre: Board
In App Purchases: Yes
Rated: E for Everyone on Google Play and 9+ on iTunes
Available now on Google Play and the iTunes App Store

Carl is a portable gamer (mainly PSP and Android) currently getting his butt handed to him in MIniclip’s Beast Quest on Android. Got a cool tip or inquiry about Gaming on Batteries? Contact Carl and he will be in touch ASAP.

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