Our Rating: 7.5/10
Amnesia: Rebirth, Remothered: Broken Porcelain, and the one at hand, Pumpkin Jack, all have aspects of Halloween in common. Though we must say, the latter is the one that best captures the spirit of the holiday. A game with an indie feel that will undoubtedly appeal to fans of a genre as classic and popular as 3D platforms with action elements.
The main character is Jack. He is a living scarecrow with a pumpkin head who has been entrusted with a mission by the devil himself.
It is this evil being who has dispatched a small army of creatures from beyond the grave to humanity. To give it more life and, coincidentally, to keep it from becoming bored. The humans are dissatisfied with the situation, so they dispatch the planet’s best sorcerer to deal with the monsters. Guess who has to put a stop to him? That is Jack himself.
Jack is also confronted with the same sinister beings… which is a little unsettling. But it doesn’t matter in this case because the narrative lacks even the tiniest glimmer of interest. Making it the least appealing aspect of an otherwise enjoyable adventure.
Over the course of a half-dozen phases, we must progress through scenarios, putting an end to the monsters that come our way. Character control is excellent, allowing us to precisely time each of our jumps (whether double or single), which is crucial in this type of adventure.
In terms of combat, they are less prominent in this case. While not bad, they do not provide us with many crumbs. Something that changes dramatically when we must liquidate the enemy at the end of the turn that awaits us at the end of each level. These moments provide us with much more vibrant and exciting situations.
Aside from that, collectibles are an essential component of the game. This also gives us other playable aspects that provide the necessary freshness development to avoid monotony. There are also races that must be completed. Whether on foot or in wagons, cars, or other mounts. They envoke memories of those found in some of the genre’s best titles.
Another mechanic of the game is that Jack must detach himself from the rest of his body. You can only use his pumpkin head to move forward. In most cases, this leads to very basic puzzles or minigames that aren’t particularly creative.
The Good, the Bad, and the Overall Experience
The setting in Pumpkin Jack, which has inevitably reminded us of the same one embodied in the Medievil saga, is the first thing that catches your attention as soon as you start playing. Of course, we’re dealing with two games that are similar in appearance but differ in terms of their playability. The platforms carry more weight than any other game element and also have a wider range of situations to our understanding which is reflected in Sir Daniel’s adventures.
It’s worth noting that the developers wanted to use mini-games to break up the established dynamics in their work. Giving it more room for surprise and variety. This effort is appreciated, but we’d be lying if we didn’t say that when we get to each of these moments, we’re looking forward to getting it over with as soon as possible.
Fortunately, this is only a small part of the adventure, and because the basic structure is sound and enjoyable, it has little impact on the overall experience.
In terms of the film’s technical aspects, we’re dealing with a modest and low budget. Despite its indie origins, Pumpkin Jack has quite impressive production values. The atmosphere is one of the best we’ve seen in a while, and the protagonist has a lot of personalities and great animations. The backdrops stand out not because of their size, but because of their variety. The audio is also great. The sound during the battles is fully compliant.
To make even the most nostalgic and veteran users feel at home, all you have to do is play this new game for ten minutes. Pumpkin Jack’s proposal closely follows in the footsteps of the genre’s best exponents during the era of 32 and 64 bits, when this type of production was abundant.
This HeadUp Games production is enhanced by a charismatic protagonist. Fantastic animation and a very good Halloween setting give more than interesting playable dynamics. It’s true that it’s a little short in terms of duration and that not all of its elements are up to par, but it’s still a fun and entertaining game.