Tokyo Jungle was one of the craziest games to grace the PlayStation 3, and its new PlayStation Mobile spin-off brings that insanity to the palm of your hands. The premise is the same as in the original: all of humanity has mysteriously vanished from Tokyo, and the city has become overrun with animals. All you need to do is survive. You'll start out doing that as a pomeranian, but as you play you'll unlock new creatures ranging from cats and porcupines to lions and wolves. You'll need to find food, claim territory, and produce offspring (which serve as extra lives) while completing small goals along the way. Doing so will earn you points that you can spend on unlocking new animals.
Running across a gang of beagles can either mean death or a snack
And that's where much of the fun comes from in Tokyo Jungle Mobile, as different animals offer very different experiences. Herbivores need to find plants, while carnivores have to hunt, and there's definitely a food chain at work that influences how you approach different situations. Running across a gang of beagles can either mean death or a snack depending on whether you're a cat or a lion. There's a thrill either way, as both stalking prey and trying to sneak around dangerous hunters can be very intense. This makes the game all the more addictive as you'll want to play just one more time to get enough points to unlock the next creature.
Porcupines are a lot tougher than they look
While the mobile version of Tokyo Jungle shares the same basic premise and structure as its console counterpart, the game has also been streamlined to better fit in your pocket. You have a little less freedom when it comes to moving around the deserted city this time around, as the game turns the world into a series of grids where you can move one space at a time (though this does lend the game a somewhat more strategic feel). Other features, like courting mates, are much more straightforward, and the game also does away with the story mode — Tokyo Jungle Mobile is about survival and nothing else.
This may sound disappointing, but the simplified approach actually works very well. The mobile version is perfect to just pick up and play in short bursts, but has an arcade-like mentality that can keep you going for quite some time in pursuit of a high score. The game is available now on PS Mobile — a platform that's seen a number of great games recently, including the strategy title Rymdkapsel — so you can check it out on your Vita or a "PlayStation certified" Android device for $2.99. Just remember: porcupines are a lot tougher than they look.