With only a couple of multimedia games made for adults under their belt, 7th Level won the rights to make some games for Disney. The first of which came in 1995 and was based on the phenomenal hit movie named The Lion King. While the humour won out over the game-play in the likes of Monty Python's Complete Waste of Time and Bill Plympton's Take Your Best Shot, the simple time-wasters masquerading as games work a lot better for the much younger target audience. And in Timon & Pumbaa's Jungle Games, they were a also lot more ambitious.
It goes without saying that any Disney title has amazing animation, but this was a solid beginning for 7th Level's exceptional output in this department too. This game looks gorgeous. The original voice cast also reprised their roles for our hyper-active duo, elevating the funny banter between the two to side-splitting heights.
The games, as is often the case in titles such as this, are a mixed bag. First off is Burper, where a flatulent Pumbaa is tasked with attacking falling bugs with his toxic burping before they hit the floor and bite him in the arse. Playing as the boar, you can still protect yourself by attacking to the left or right, but it's still the weakest game of the bunch.
Jungle Pinball is just that; pinball set in the jungle. It's not a particularly deep simulation, and the ball physics is nothing short of laughable for those used to the real thing. Critters will occasionally pop up for some opportunities to score higher, but nothing else really happens to give some variety. It doesn't help that your ball seems to gravitate towards the unprotected outlane. There are much better pinball games around, a lot of them from this era as well. When you can play 3D Ultra Pinball or Tilt!, there's really no point.
Located in the middle of the map screen is a simplified Frogger clone by the name of Hippo Hop. This sees you play as Timon as he jumps from shore to shore on the back of hippos, turtles and crocodiles collecting ingredients for their dinner. Pumbaa will call them out from the far side while you brave the river's waters to fetch them. It's definitely playable, but is again another poor imitation of what's come before.
It case you couldn't guess by the name, Sling Shooter is a shooting gallery. Timon & Pumbaa have set this game up for your pleasure, but have forgotten to remind the jungle's native populace to keep well away. The duo have built some makeshift targets out of cardboard and made them to look like regular beasts. Hid them and points are added to your score, but if you mistakenly hit an actual oblivious creature, just as many points are deducted. You are allowed to hit bugs and predators for bonus points if you're skilled enough. They're small and quick and require an exact aim. The scores are saved on a high-score table accessed from the main screen. All of the games have a place there, but I suspect this will be the one many will come back to get to the top.
There is one more mini-game, though the 'mini' could arguably be removed. It's also the best of this selection, even if it does follow suit by out-right copying another game. Essentially Bug Drop is Puyo Puyo (also known as Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine). Two coloured bugs drop down Tetris-style and they'll disappear if four or more of the same hue are gathered together. Get some combos going and some game-hindering blocks will fall down on your opponent (here represented by Timon or Pumbaa depending on who you choose). It's also the only game presented here with simultaneous multiplayer. Two can even play huddled around the same keyboard too. I'm not convinced I'll opt to play this over an official Puyo Puyo game but - like every other version - it remains addictive as all hell.
For that alone, Timon & Pumbaa's Jungle Games is probably the best game of its type. It even got shrunk down for the Super Nintendo a year later, with almost everything intact (speech went and graphics took a hit but it's still an impressive achievement). I quite liked the majority of what 7th Level did here and if you're in the target age bracket you'll adore it.
To download the game, follow the link below. This custom installer exclusive to The Collection Chamber uses DOSBox running Microsoft Windows 3.1 to get the game working on modern systems. Tested on Windows 10.
File Size: 61 Mb. Install Size: 112 Mb. Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ
Disney's The Lion King: Timon & Pumbaa's Jungle Games is © Disney Interactive
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me