This panda and his friend the gecko destroyed this ancient key like artifact to find this evil bat now holding power over the land. That's the setup premise of this cooperative focused platformer which is based around something adults could play with their child. The game itself is a simple platformer that borrows heavily off a Mario/Sonic mix with quick movement, but the basic skills that Mario games have. You even grow more powerful as you progress gaining abilities like hovering for a second or shooting magic balls, they're basically fireballs.
This is actually quite charming and is simple/easy enough that kids along with adults could enjoy a playthrough on it. There's tons of coins to collect throughout the levels and even some hidden portals. I'll briefly go over these secrets areas as they're quite drab and like the same five templates over and over. There's three of these a level and it's just repetitive to the point of me only getting enough to further my campaign progress. The levels are split across four unique zones that actually each bring their own little theme to the game.
We have the starting jungle place; the toybox styled land, water park with awesome blow up creatures and finally the candy land world. These areas are great with tons of personality within them as they lead to the final boss area. First though I'll go over bosses which show up every few levels, while being simplistic to a point I felt it was weird that there were no mid-level checkpoints which makes you restart from the absolute beginning each death. Now onto that monster bat at the end, I don't think kids will have a great time with him as some of those incoming obstacles were almost too death damning and quite hard to juggle away from.
The multiplayer aspect is that a local second player can hop in. This is designed for the child as the gecko is more fun with his tongue and less likely to get attacked by enemies/bosses. It's also a ton of more fun while being hilarious to have that second player hopping around with you whenever you need. The gameplay like stated before is done in simple platforming which does mix it up a bit throughout the various zones.
The worlds look great while matching their themes and none of the levels were too difficult. Initially I felt the backdrop could have more going on in it, but for younger gamers I would assume it may create too much distraction. There's only some simple backdrops with clouds and such floating around. The skills work well throughout and I really didn't have any issues playing along the areas while never getting too frustrated with sections.
JUJU is a game that you can enjoy by yourself or even have more fun with a second player. People of all ages can hop into the game at any time and have fun. Which is what this platform experience is surely aiming for. The levels and worlds looked great with some charming enemies thrown in there.
I loved the floating creatures the most in the water world and I felt bad for that more octopus that was the boss there! I definitely suggest checking this out for the younger audiences as there were really no issues while playing and the game had some solid hours of play time attached. If you want to collect all the coins to unlock additional things it shouldn't be too hard and more tedious then anything.
JUJU for Xbox 360
Review Code Provided by Evolve PR