Everyone has played Desert Strike, and rightly so. The isometric tactical combat game was an innovative combination of genres tied together by savvy mission design. And it let you blow up everything in sight. Needless to say, the game was a smash success and helped put EA on the map in a big way. In Jungle Strike you get to switch off to multiple different vehicles in order to better dispense wrath upon your prey. If you’ve ever played a Strike game, though, you know that reckless abuse of firepower will get you nowhere except six feet under. This isn’t one of those games where you can shoot anything and everything without penalty. The missions in Jungle Strike are more complicated than the tired “blow up the alien mainframe” scenarios.
Granted, some are nothing more than assaults on enemy compounds, but the majority involve picking up some person or thing while taking out hostile forces and avoiding excess collateral damage. That’s a gross simplification, of course; Jungle Strike, much like its predecessor, almost never pulls the same trick twice. Variety is the name of the game and all the different combinations of gameplay elements will really keep you on your toes. Jungle Strike brings back the same generic Madman for round two, although this time with a gaggle of terrorist goons tagging along for the ride, making the game surprisingly relevant with their suicide trucks and hijacked tour buses… and tanks, missile launchers, jeeps, sentry towers, and all sorts of high-tech weaponry. Adrenaline will surge, tension will mount, your heart rate will rise, and you might just jump to your feet. Fuel, armor, and ammo will melt away in the face of withering fire from all sides; sweat will trickle down the side of your face as you jink and weave. Then comes that moment of awful finality when your chopper’s alarms begin to sound, even as your fingers are brushing victory. A heart-rending exchange of deadly gunfire follows, and then the glorious explosions indicating triumph. You leap for joy, sing a song, and dance around! End of first mission! War is hell. But this game is heaven.