Jumanji: Wild Adventures is a new action-adventure game developed by Cradle Games and published by Outright Games. This is a sequel to the 2019’s Jumanji: The Video Game and will release today on PC, Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo Switch. While you can play the game solo, it’s much more fun if you have others that can play with you in multiplayer. Cradle Games released the souls-like game Hellpoint in 2020 and now have worked with Outright Games for this game aimed at younger audiences. It’s been a lot of fun returning to the jungle in search for the Jewel of Jumanji and this review focuses on the Xbox version of the game.
The game opens with a short sequence that throws you straight into combat against a giant octopus, letting you practice the keys for dodging, jumping, and attacking. We end up shipwrecked on a sandy beach and then get to drive the team in a 4×4 vehicle in an overland view, moving to the first mission location. You can drive past it to freely roam around the area and collect any coins or gems you can reach, but only the next active mission is available to be started. You can see the other mission locations but driving over them does nothing. The map is split into several biomes from jungles to forgotten villages and icy mountains, with a red boss location at the end of the map zone. I did notice the framerate started to suffer when I drove around the overland map longer than a minute.
Once at a mission location, we can choose to play as one of the playable characters from the Jumanji films: Dr. Smolder Bravestone, Ruby Roundhouse, Franklin “Mouse” Finbar, and Professor Shelly Oberon. Each character is faithfully recreated from their movie counterparts, and for the most part the voice acting is very good with some humourous jibes as per each character’s traits which is just enough for us adults to have a chuckle. At this point you can also invite other players to join you, otherwise you jump in and play solo.
Each mission in Jumanji: Wild Adventures involves some platforming elements, defeating enemies using your melee weapons, roundhouse kicks or your chosen character’s special abilities such as Smolder’s boomerang or Ruby’s shuriken that you can find throughout the mission. You will also be keeping an eye out for cleverly placed letters of the word Jumanji which were elusive. I would always miss just one or sometimes two letters even though I was quite methodical going through the levels. There are three-star challenges to complete for each mission, and if it was a particularly fun mission, I had no issue just running it again with a different character to try get all three stars.
You will come across a large variety of dangerous enemies, including wild animals, jungle predators, and warring tribes. There are also lots of obstacles and traps to dodge, chests to open, barrels to bash through, and coins and gems scattered throughout the levels. I was surprised at the size and length of some of the levels early on which isn’t a complaint, I am just used to similar games having shorter missions. At times the camera angle changes which makes the missions feel diverse and exciting and this can briefly block your vision but it’s easy to move back.
In each level you have three health hearts and three lives. If you die, you will respawn at the last checkpoint or close to your location if you happened to fall to your death. Checkpoints are conveniently spread through each level which is helpful, especially when my 6-year-old daughter was having a go and learning the controls. Some of the traps, like spikes coming out of the ground or a swinging log, trigger and extend quite fast so I had to help her get through those sections, but otherwise my daughter enjoyed playing co-op at times.
Completing a level earns you coins and extra hearts, and there are powerups and items to collect such as clothing and other powerups for each of the characters, so there’s plenty to do outside of just finishing the missions and aiming to complete all mission challenges. The bosses you will face are varied enough with their mechanics and challenging in their own ways but not insurmountable and were satisfying to complete with more humourous jibes from the gang. In addition, no two adventures are the same in Jumanji: Wild Adventures. With each new playthrough, bosses and enemies appear at random on the world map which adds to the replayability of the game.
Overall, Jumanji: Wild Adventures is a lot of fun and faithful to the movie characters, and even better playing it in co-op. There’s enough variety in missions that you can do a couple and then take a break, and the puzzles and challenges were fun to play through. There were some niggling video quality issues, especially when driving at length in the overworld map, though for the most part the levels were well-designed and fun to play through.