Buzz Jr. Jungle Party - PS2 - Preview
What’s the buzz, tell me what’s a’happening … what’s the buzz …?
Ok, that rock anthem from The Who has little to do with Buzz Jr. Jungle Party, a four-player game show that spans ages and is guaranteed fun. Sony sent along a demo of the game, along with the Buzz buzzers, and the family got together for a night of entertainment.
SCEA is known for creating games and then creating peripherals that enhance the experience and the Buzz trivia games are no exception. Think of it this way: what good is a game-show format if you can’t buzz in your answer? The obvious answer is none. So the Buzz games will come with four buzzers that hook into a central unit, which – in turn – connects to the PlayStation 2 with a USB connector. The buzzers are overly large for small hands, but feature a big red button the top and then four colored bars (blue, orange, green and yellow). The colored buttons correspond to answer choices in the multiple-guess format.
With Buzz Jr., only three of the games were available. Players begin by signing in. You are assigned one of the four colored monkeys, then it is off to the competition. Points are not a factor here; rather, the first-place prize consists of five bananas, with diminishing amounts of bananas for second, third and fourth place. The one at the end with the most bananas wins. Medals are handed out, fun disparaging remarks are made about the losers and you can get ready for another round with different questions.
Only three rounds (or levels) were available in the demo version. The first featured the four monkeys sitting on a branch in a game that was, essentially, hot potato (called Monkey Bomb). A bomb was dropped and players used the color buttons to toss it around. The longer you hold onto it, the more points you rake up. If it explodes while you are holding it, say goodbye to the points and prepared to look like KFC’s extra crispy recipe. Another game was making bubbles in a pool. A giant gorilla was trying to sleep. You press the big button to make bubbles (no easy way to put this, you are passing gas underwater, creating your own Jacuzzi). If the gorilla wakes up and sees bubbles escaping from your direction, it’s a smack on the back of the head and points are lost.
The third level is a totem bash. You have to use a hammer to hit the right colors. You hold down the bars to eliminate the colors. This is a race based on quick reflexes. It is also timed.
Other features include:
Choose from your favorite games to develop short, medium, long or custom tournaments and let your friends compete nose to nose in your favorite mini-games.
Single-player mode offers a simplified version of multiplayer, enabling gamers to practice skills and earn higher scores.
The music is light and the banter from the announcer is good. The graphics are cartoonish and fun. This is a solid and entertaining game. The guffaws may not be overly done, but the enjoyment factor is there. Buzz Jr. releases in late October and this is the type of game that shows there is still family-oriented fun to be had with the PS2 console system.