Jacqueline, Jungle Queen!

Here's an amusing little jungle romp, a parody of those old pulp adventure tales. Mind you, I don't know if it's possible these days to do pulp adventure without parody: we're much less inclined to take it seriously in this modern age, and the genre tends to involve some rather problematic tropes.

Then again, the whole point of these jungle adventures is that the hero has to be in some way a stranger to the world. It's about survival and the ability of our hero to prevail. There is nothing remarkable about a bushman traversing his native wilderness: a middle-class white person with a relatively sheltered background, however, now that's worth noticing.

Jacqueline, our hero, is just such a person. I think the game even refers to her as "pasty-white" at one point. Having crashed into the jungle, she discovers an idol that grants her the power of mimicking an ability from any animal she sees. There are other idols, granting her other powers, but this first power is by far the most interesting, and the most often used. About half the puzzles revolve around this power -- either solving things with it, or discovering animals to mimic -- and one could almost say that the game is an exploration of the power, and I certainly wouldn't have minded if this were the case. The other available powers are nice, but they don't add to the theme.

On the whole, I found the game quite satisfactory in terms of puzzles and voice. There were a few touches that I found quite funny, such as the monkey village that looks like a Parisian suburb, and the ancient guardian-goddess who really has nothing better to do. But what I think I like best is that the game acknowledges the problematic tropes of its genre but does not allow either them or the awareness of them to weigh it down. There's the more important business of Getting Back To Civilisation to deal with, after all.

Banana pancakes, a couple of slices of ham, and a large thermos of rooibos.