Review by wing2871x

Reviewed: 12/12/99 | Updated: 12/12/99

Exceeds Keen as a shareware retro classic

While ZZT was the game that made Epic MegaGames, Jill of the Jungle was the gamethat proved that the Maryland company had the muscle to hang with the big boysat Apogee. It was actually one of the first games to take advantage of256-color VGA graphics, and while the results aren't quite up to par with gamesof today, it was breakthrough for its time, and harkens to the old days ofshareware quite nicely.

STORY: (7/10) The story was a minor twist to a classic plot: as Jill of theJungle, your mission is to save the prince. Of course, making Jill a leggyblonde didn't hurt its fanbase either.

GAMEPLAY: (9/10) As simplistic as any platform title of its time. As Jillyou basically ran around, collected weapons (a knife, a spinning blade, andfirebombs were among the selections) and threw them at villians. There werealso various transformations that Jill could change into (a frog and a firebirdwere among them) to help her get through some tricky spots. More nostalgicthan anything.

CONTROL: (7/10) Maneuvering Jill was a bit tough, as her control was a bitblocky, but it sufficed.

GRAPHICS: (10/10). In the days of VESA and million-color artwork, JotJ seemsoutdated, but in its time the graphics were amazing. Few games were able todo the job of incorporating acceptable 256-color graphics into a game andhave it run at an acceptable speed, but Jill runs just fine on a 286. Besides,Jill and her enemies are animated very fluidly. The firebirds especially arenotable.

SOUND: (8/10). The music is top notch, and I think it's some of the best musicever put into a video game. The sound effects, while recorded well, tend to besomewhat abrupt and interrupt the atmosphere.

EASE OF USE: (5/10). Unfortunately, Jill had some limitations on higher levelsystems. It wouldn't work if you had a compressed disk drive - you had to moveit to the uncompressed portions. Also, there was a bug that made Jill notwork at all on a Pentium, hindering it from ever being enjoyed in this day andage. (I'm not sure if this bug has been fixed.)

OVERALL: (8/10). An amazing game in its time, and worth a look now, if youcan dig up a 486 somewhere. Epic made a big mistake in dropping this game fromits lineup. Jill of the Jungle deserved a sequel.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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