JackQuest Review – Jack, off to save Nara

The first thing to say about JackQuest is that I like the style. It’s nowhere near the same level as OwlBoy, Shovel Knight or Hollow Knight but I’ve always got time for some nice art. JackQuest’s pixel art is great.

The slimes look sludgy, the water looks wet and the boss sprites look like they deserve to sit in the big room at the end of their zones. The game’s lookin’ good and Jack is ready to do whatever it takes to reclaim his love Nara from the devilish Korg.

Music in Jackquest is a big plus as well. Lots of big drums and string work to build tension and excitement. Lots of piano noodling too. I found myself whistling along to the game as I carved a path to retribution with my mighty blade of justice!

The blade is a bloke call Kuro who’s been trapped by the big bad orc Korg. Kuro is a cool guy and often drops text boxes to give insight to his crucible of torment while you explore and do battle.

Hot tip, people don’t like being trapped in swords.

JackQuest Review

Bee murderers are 85% more likely to have been trapped in swords.

After a few foot soldiers, you come toe to toe with the first big enemy.

I was pleased to see the bosses had a lot more gusto than the regular enemies and my death count stands as proof to their challenge. They are by no means impossible but it should take a few tries to figure out their movement and attack patterns before you finish these bastards with a killing blow.

There’s lots of signposting in JackQuest and whatever the most prevalent basic enemy is in a zone, the boss will be a much larger, turbo-charged incarnation of their feeble underlings. There’s also a shitload of save points scattered around that you can re-attune to.

When exploring previous areas they act as your current respawn point. Additionally, you can find or grind for torches which allow you to save nearly wherever you want and prepare for some of the more difficult platforming challenges.

Gettin’ Jacked 

I was gonna say watch out for little fishy bastards and you’ll know this guy’s coming but the underwater setting will probably give it away first.

Super Meat Boy lite probably best describes the platforming aspect of JackQuest. Lots of sliding up and down walls and narrowly splitting gaps to avoid impalement on spikes. Flying enemies and spiders sliding up and down webs will attempt to impede your process but you can smash those pricks with some quick and clever blade work.

Alternatively, the weapons in the game (only two, bow and blade, baby) have super moves fuelled by gemstones littered around the orcish caverns. These moves allow you to dash through enemies or just destroy them with a huge spinning blade attack.

Gems are much more readily available then health so make sure you use those gems instead of risking hearts. Seriously, potions are kind of expensive and having a spare hit up your sleeve will really accelerate your progress through the platforming elements.

Sword Logic

His garbs say wizard but his prices say, rogue.

In classic Metroidvania style, each zone cleared grants an item or ability that makes another zone accessible. DON’T go into the big water zone without a fish talisman.

I was trying to pump the boss down there with like 15-seconds of breath and it’s just not ever going to happen I’ll tell ya.

It’s also often worth collecting nearby resources than saving and killing yourself to respawn health and gemstones.

Unfortunately, the hitboxes in this can be a bit unruly from time to time. Getting pinged by an errant projectile at the end of a boss fight feels pretty cheap when you’re clearly a whole body clear of the deadly missile.

This sort of loose feel pops up when jumping between ledges too and your double jump doesn’t go off or Jack fails to start wall sliding and you fall to your peril in the lava pits below. It’s doesn’t occur too often but it does happen and you should know about it.

Not Perfect, But Fun

Mr Steal Your Girl takes it up a notch.

Next on the list of grievances, the map.

A crystal ball collected from the clutches of a dastardly foe grants Jack magical vision of the dungeons layout. The caves are often convoluted and being able to follow a path to a key makes the game a lot more enjoyable than blindly jumping around hoping to find a new area.

The view granted by the orb is very zoomed in though and there’s no ability to quickly refocus onto Jack’s current location. This makes sense thematically to me, what with the young adventurer attempting to harness the power of a mystical seers sphere and only possessing limited vision.

However, although I kind of like the limited nature of the map it feels like more of a mistake than a feature. Just whip the map around till you find a key then work back along the pathways till you find Jack.

Overall JackQuest is a quick romp of romance and adventure and it looks good and plays well. I beat the game with most achievements in 3-4 hours but I had a blast.

It’s only 10-15 dollars so I’d take a swing at it for sure. Just know when you come up against two unpassable walls there’s a lever hidden in a bullshit secret tunnel.

I was proud to find it but it did seem a bit cheeky to hide a necessary door switch in a wall.


JackQuest was reviewed on Switch using a digital code provided by the publisher.

PowerUp! Reviews

Game Title: JackQuest

  • 8/10


    Beats get me pumpin’ - 8/10

  • 8/10


    Big sword and bigger monsters - 8/10

  • 5/10


    Gotta tighten up them hitboxes - 5/10

  • 6/10


    Story is quick and could use some fleshing out - 6/10

6.8/10
Sending



User Review


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Jackson Wall
My name is Jacko. I'm real into Overwatch at the moment and I've always loved Nintendo. I'm currently studying engineering and hope one day to have lots of money. In the mean time I have to write reviews so i can afford to play video games. These are my reviews, and this, is my story.

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