25/06/2019

๐Ÿš€ ๐Ÿšœ JCB Pioneer Mars REVIEW - Nintendo Switch ๐Ÿšœ ๐Ÿš€ #GameDev #IndieGame

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Excited to explore Mars and build up a base camp in order to re-colonise earth I ventured into JCB Pioneer on Switch with great excitement.

It felt like this would be a perfect fit for the Switch as I could tend to my colony on Mars whilst chilling on the sofa with my wife as she watches Love Island 2019...(earphones in and eyes down)
I started my first day like a fresh-faced space cadet full of optimism but as in real life, my optimism soon faded into the drudgery of daily life.

As I plodded through the tutorial, it spelt out to me that I have a HAB (base) and a Garage (with automatic doors) on Mars. 

I must go and explore Mars to build up the colony and repair certain power items around the HAB in order to proceed.
I made some telling notes and observations as I played the game which consisted of:

  • The JCB vehicle (a cross between a digger and a 4x4 should have handled like a MAKO from Mass Effect and be fun to drive and flip over...but it's drab to handle and feels very floaty. 
  • I found the moving of items from the Mars terrain into the Inventory very confusing and it seemed hit and miss whether things would get into my inventory or not.
  • There wasn't much of a compelling reason to explore the bland landscape which meant that it felt like a chore to move around and explore as everything looked the same (orangey red rockscape)
  • The sound was bland at best and thus made the game devoid of any atmosphere.
  • The whole experience was very sterile with no feeling for the character or the circumstances.
  • Walking was too slow and felt like you were trudging through treacle in 1st person mode and floating in treacle in 3rd person mode.
  • The tutorial seemed half baked with not much of a reveal of how to do things beyond fix a power line.
  • The mission/tasks structure wasn't really explained and thus left me scratching my head about what to do immediately after the tutorial.
Summary
JCB Pioneer Mars has the seed of an idea but it isn't implemented very well which basically leads to boring gameplay and a forgettable experience.

It's a crying shame ss I would like to play a well-executed version of this concept with a bit more character about it.

Maybe I need NO MAN's SKY in my life?

Right, I'm off to blow up my HAB
๐Ÿ’ง RATING: MELTED ๐Ÿ’ง

Ratings Explained
ICE COOL (Great Game Recommended)
MELTING (Recommended with reservations, one to consider if you are a fan of the genre)
MELTED (Not A Recommended Purchase)

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