MGC11 - Jungle of the Gods
Jungle of the Gods
In the deep jungles of the unexplored world lives the People of the Gods. They are deeply religious. They sacrifice everything they gather and they get rewarded by the five gods, Ath'Baar, Khan Drim, Ioh Fol, Aegle and Um Sahl.
The People of the Gods are divided in to two tribes, the At Lok and Uhl Maek. They often get in to fights and battles often take place. The tribe to gain control of all the 5 holy relics is claimed to be the winner. After a battle is finished, and all relics have been captured by one of the tribes, the relics are put back in their original places to not disturb the gods. If the gods are not pleased, they can punish the tribes.
This scenario features level-dynamics. Play on whatever difficulty you think is appropriate for your skill level, but I must warn you, hard is really hard.
Created by Basse, member of Black Forest Studios for the minigame competition 2011, hosted by NowhereT.
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This scenario is a really amazing one. Habitually, it is the concept of a mini-game that make it interesting, and the basic idea of "Jungle of the Gods" is really good. The player must be attentive to his moves and use all his micro-managing skill to beat the ennemy with his small forces (especially on Hard difficulty...). I enjoyed of this intense gameplay, mixed with some economic aspects. Also, the idea of bonus linked with the capture of relics add a new strategic dimension, and did that these objects become more than a victory copndition: they help the player to be victorious.
The blanace of "Jungle of Gods" is really good for unexperimented players like for really experimented ones. The problem is not here: it is with medium players like me. For those, Moderate diffuculty is too easy, and on Hard... fairly too hard. In spite of this detail, most of the people will found a great challenge to beat Ulh Malek tribe.
A great mini-game is most of the time nothing more than a matter of excellent ideas. And nothing less also. In this case, the author found a good concept, a good way to change the gameplay with relic's powers, put all on a little map and made a very creative scenario. Like I said, I love the concept. But this excepted, there is not very, very imaginative events to raise the gameplay and the originality to an other level (like, I don't know, a forgotten god who appears after the five relics were gattered, who take the side of the ennemy, or another brutal chagne of situation like this, to create some surprise effect...)
Map Design: 5
A well designed map, with a lot of eye-candies, that create a good atmosphere. The players can be sure that he is in an jungle, and it is the most important.
Instructions are clear, and we understand what we should did, but, in my opinion, the story was a bit limited. The player know that two tribe are at war, but the reasons why are not explained. Also, the story did'nt progress during the game. In this conditions, it would not be fair to give the full score when there are designers who spend a lot of time to build a complete historical context to their scenario and a minimal interaction between their characters during the game.
Excellent mini-game: everybody who likes this type of scenario should download it. And good luck to Basse for the contest!
"Jungle of the Gods" is a rather fun minigame. You play as a tiny tribe fighting another tiny tribe in a returning struggle to capture all the five relics of the Gods. The gameplay is fairly simple: you get soldiers by collecting resources and sacrificing them (tributing) to the gods,which you use to defend your chieftain while he collects the relics scattered around the scenario. It's simpleand fun, but also very easy. You never reallyfeel threatened, unless you stand completely still with all your units and just allow the enemy to run you over. Which you don't. Making it more challenging would up the score here.
Like I said, the scenario is very easy, which is the only real letdown. I played on moderate and never once felt threatened. A couple of things I think you could do to improve balance would be; to put a cap of the number of villagers one can get - once you have five or more villagers, resources come in so fast that it stops being challening. And you could make the northern and southern relic harder to get, perhaps add in some third party guardians so that you need to send off some attack troops there and reduce your defenses. As it is, it's way too easy.
'Get all the relics'-scenarios are in my experience not that common, and since that idea is implemented well here it's an instant plus. It also gave me flashbacks to that first Montezuma scenario, where you play as Aztecs and try get hold of four relics. The gameplay is somewhat creative as you collect resources and sacrifice them to the gods to get soldiers and villagers, as opposed to actually training them yourself. Overall it's solid, but not overwhelming, thus earning a four.
MAP DESIGN: 5-
For being such a small map, 25x25 units, I believe this is more or less perfectly designed. There's good terrain mixing and good strategic desig with hills and bottlenecks, with a god amount of eye candy to spice it up. The only thing I noticed was the oak trees. Oaks in the middle of a jungle seems a bit out of place. Not enough to knock down the score, but enough for me to notice.
STORY & INSTRUCTIONS: 4
The story was very simple and framed the gameplay rather well. You get an explanation to why your tribe wants the relics, and the instructions are more than adequate and help you understand what to do. I do think the story could've been a little more detailed though, to make the scenario a bit more interesting. It works as it is, but a bit more detail and description would make the scenario more memorable.
"Jungle of the gods" was Basse's submission to the 2011 Minigame Competition, where it ran just short of getting a top 3 spot. The game gives the player control of a jungle tribe, with the mission of defeating the other tribe in a sort of "who has the most relics" contest, and at the same time get the blessing of the gods.
This was an original and fun minigame, despite it being a little short and with no big surprises along the way. Balance was a bit of a problem, but I will get to that in due time. The features implemented, such as the bonuses that the relics bring and the resource "sacrifices", visibly increased the playability. I think what would have really made this great and would have given the game a new dimension would be to have the other tribe try to gather relics as well. This does not happen from my experience, and I tried all 3 difficulties. Granted, that would have been a lot harder to control and to balance.
This is probably the biggest problem of the game. The standard difficulty would not present a challenge, even for a total beginner, and can be finished in a few minutes. Hard is probably good for the more seasoned players (I only managed to get 3 relics before I died, but I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination), while moderate seemed about right for my level, though it could use a little bit more challenge, to give it more of a replay value. A great improvement would be give standard difficulty some more challenge.
This was certainly a creative minigame, with a very original concept and very fresh gameplay, that forces you to micromanage a lot (if you're playing on the more difficult levels, that is). The map looked very fitting for this sort of game, but the atmosphere could have been taken further by using some custom sound effects, for instance.
MAP DESIGN: 5
The design of the map was, for me at least, one of the highlights of the game. The jungle is very accurately depicted for AOK standards. It is a little hard to maneuver your units through the thick vegetation and the rocky terrain but that's to be expected from a wild and overgrown territory, and adds to the general atmosphere and challenge of the game, forcing you to take terrain into consideration while thinking tactically.
There isn't much of a story, but for a minigame the general background given on the tribes and the gods is more than enough. I think a couple of in-game twists would have done a great deal for the enjoyment of the scenario. Just something to keep the players on their toes and make everything more interesting. Instructions and hints were complete and helpful, and the technical aspects were not as overwhelming as to discourage the player.
This is certainly one of the better minigames of 2011. I fully recommend the download, and I also recommend the downloaders to try "moderate" from the very beginning, starting with "standard" would be pretty dissapointing for most people.