Title: JackQuest: The Tale of the Sword
Developer: Blowfish Studios
Publisher: Level 77
Genre: Adventure, Action, Platform
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 24/01/2019
Price: £8.99 – Rapid Reviews UK was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
What the Developers say
“In JackQuest, players will explore the cavernous depths of Korg’s slime-ridden, labyrinthine lair. There, they will solve environmental puzzles, discover power-ups, obtain new abilities, collect weapons, and challenge subterranean foes, including massive bosses.”
JackQuest puts you in the shoes of our brave hero; Jack. He’s on a dangerous quest to save his one true love, Nara. Kidnapped by the evil Orc Korg, you’ll find a familiar home if you’re used to the Metroidvania style gameplay that’s present here. Although on a much smaller scale than most, you’ll encounter various bosses and unlock a slew of achievements exploring the cavernous underworld or Korg’s lair.
Looks and Sounds
Presented in a SNES style graphical look, JackQuest fits the retro aesthetic. There’s minimal variation within the different areas of the game you’ll be travelling between, and the enemy designs sit in the cliche category of a Metroidvania style game; slimes, skeletons and bats. The sheer amount of eShop and Indie titles that have opted for this graphical approach and found success; it’s no wonder the developers chose this look, and for the most part it works.
Musically there’s very little variation, it has that classic RPG feeling to it, but it’s all one note the entire way through. Once you encounter a boss battle, it does ramp up the intensity, but I wouldn’t say it adds any additional enjoyment to the game.
Gameplay and Replayability
JackQuest brings in elements from various genres, to sum up, its gameplay style, you’ve got the Metroidvania exploration mixed with platforming and puzzle sections. While predominantly very linear, you gain access to a map of the caverns about halfway through the game which feels a little too late in my opinion, but most of the time you can figure out where you need to go without the use of the map. Jack wields what can only be described as a huge sword to slay his enemies, later on, you’re able to pick up a bow and arrow for long distance combat. Enemies are not difficult to beat with just a few swings of your sword.
During different points in the game you may come across a part of the map which will fade away meaning you’ve found a secret area, these will either mean collecting a blue gem, an extra heart or a torch (these feel slightly pointless; they give you the ability to “save anywhere”, but the map is littered with autosave points). The puzzle elements of the game only really require you to push a block into a panel on the floor, unlocking a previously blocked route.
Boss battles do break up the pacing a little, but with each one having just two forms of attack, they won’t take you long to beat. The difficulty seems to get a little easier as well which feels counterproductive, with a pretty anticlimactic boss fight with the demon himself; Korg.
There are various achievements to be unlocked during your time with JackQuest, these can be obtained easily due to the linearity of the game, and it won’t take you long to unlock all thirteen of them. Once you’ve rescued Nara, there is little reason to visit again.
You will find some enjoyment with JackQuest, and it has some good exploration and platforming elements, however, it’s over far too quickly and doesn’t offer enough in terms of originality. You’ll be searching for health potions with them feeling very few and far between and the shops on offer charge you an extortionate rate for just half a hearts replenishment. Once you’ve finished the game, there is very little replayability.
Boss battles can be challenging, but the combat is as simple as one button to attack and another for a charged attack. It can get a little repetitive, and with the linearity of the story, you will rarely feel challenged or at a loss for where to go. The game does draw you in from the short opening cutscene, but with little content, short play time and next to no replayability JackQuest falls short of greatness.
Rapid Reviews UK Rating
You can purchase JackQuest: The Tale of the Sword on the Nintendo eShop at the following link, https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/JackQuest-The-Tale-of-the-Sword-1499683.html