๐ŸŽƒ Pumpkin Jack | Review | Nintendo Switch | "A treat for Halloween, Christmas and beyond" ๐ŸŽƒ @thepumpkinjack #GameDev #IndieGames

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Pumpkin Jack is a game that’s been on my radar for a while, a 3D platformer in the vein of MediEvil – with whom it also shares a graphical style – I sadly missed the opportunity to play it around Halloween but was delighted to find, upon receiving it for review in the run-up to Christmas, that a Santa costume has been implemented for Jack to sport throughout his quest, making things festive as well as fiendish!

The story begins with Jack being cast to ‘The Boredom Kingdom’ by Satan in a bid to defeat a powerful wizard who is resisting the Devil’s advancing curse. Starting off with just your flaming pumpkin head and wits, you are soon joined on your journey by a mysterious owl and crow – who acts as a cool darting, ranged attack – as you progress through the spooky world before you.

As already stated, this game has a very MediEvil vibe and as such has that Burton-esque comedic character as well as a cheekily jaunty and yet eerie orchestral score that sits perfectly on the gameplay. That said, the lack of voice acting in the main game does mean that each character has their own ‘noise’ that they make when speaking and this can get grating during some of the more text-heavy sections.

There’s a lot to love here, the game runs at a pretty solid 30fps and the mini-games and puzzles that you come across can see you removing your head to get a better view of things (these sections reminded me of The Thing, as Jack’s pumpkin head skitters around on tentacled legs, good) to solve the less platform-based and more cerebral areas and collect the hidden presents scattered throughout the Kingdom.

Loading times are quite swift and the whole game has a polish - especially impressive considering the extremely small development team – except in the slightly fussy controls.

Being a 3D platformer, there are a lot of obstacles to leap, roll and overcome as well as some chase sequences and areas where falling leads to instant death, these sections are made dicier by the fact that its occasionally unclear where you can and can’t get purchase after a jump and how the controls can feel ever so slightly stiff in situations that require pinpoint accuracy, these little niggles run throughout and do have a lasting impact on the overall game.

In summary, Pumpkin Jack is an impressive, charmingly spooky and well-presented adventure that just feels like it needs a slight tweak to the overall controls to make it a must-have title.

If you are a fan of 3D platformers though, this is definitely one for all the family.


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