This is a single player 3D platformer that feels like a classic game of the genre that’s been almost perfectly re-imagined for the modern era. In the game you play as Jack, a mythical Pumpkin lord that aims to spread some evil darkness. You’re joined by some rather spooky friends along the way which provide some of the narrative elements.
There are also some brief chat dialogue moments among fancier scenes. It’s actually got a surprisingly good story, with exciting between level cinematics as well. There may not be a ton of levels present, but each is fairly long which again was another welcomed surprise for sure. Each level, while familiar is also entirely distinct. The core design loop is present, but always tweaked within each situation.
You’ll spend a good chunk of time battling with the enemies, platforming and then engaging in a vehicle type setup. These vehicle segments range from mystical horses to special karts and even a minecart. You do them a couple times in each level. There are even some boat type ones that show up later on outside of these vehicle moments. By the end of the level you’ll come across a boss that’s specific to the region and you’ll have to handle them.
Again, while the core concept is the same it’s entirely different within each level. The areas are also filled with smaller collectibles to work towards, which are basically crow beaks. These can be used to buy in-game skins to change the look of your character which was nice to have. A good little reward for your effort, so you can replay the levels if you’d like to find more of them.
There are many different platforming challenges you’ll face within the game. From jumping across loose structures, to rolling by swinging spike trunks or even hopping on bouncy mushrooms. Each area is distinct, and entirely fresh. The atmosphere is incredible, it’s spooky and haunting.
Every spot feels filled to the brim with detail, while still being a fairly linear experience. The odd path might lead you to say a collectible beak, or perhaps even the rarer musical item which provided a funny boogie down by Jack. I will mention that the vehicle segments perhaps could have used mid sequence checkpoints, same with the bosses but it wasn’t the biggest deal here.
Aside from general platforming there is combat here. It’s fairly simple, but dynamic in that you get an additional weapon to use every level. These range from guns to special swords and even a scythe. Some good variety, and decent challenges. It’s not the hardest game in the world for sure, but it does have some spots that will provide a good challenge.
It was just a really enjoyable and fun time in general. From the setup of the story, to the visuals and just the sense of spookiness to capture the Halloween spirit was ever so perfect. It ran very well being Xbox One X enhanced, a 4k resolution with HDR support and 60fps. It was mostly all smooth, and looked really great.
Pumpkin Jack is a really awesome 3D platformer that brings some level of nostalgia while being a perfect experience for today. It was just a lot of fun, I had a great time with it. It was an enjoyable experience that made me want more while still being satisfied with what I had played. It looks great, the atmosphere is incredible and it ran well.
The lead character was enchanting, and I liked the smaller jokes showcased throughout the story. It had a good amount of content to it, and a little bit more for completionists. It didn’t go over the top in that regard, and I appreciate that. It had some engaging combat, interesting boss fights and a gameplay loop that it continued to tweak as you continued to progress.
It had a surprisingly well done story and it definitely left a lasting impression. There aren’t too many games that hit this well, and I was just pleased by it. It was a really good time, and I had a great amount of fun with it. I really would like to see a sequel or even some sort of fun expansion to this one as it nailed the enjoyment here.
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Pumpkin Jack Review on Xbox One X
Review Code Provided by Headup Games