A retro-style look, the premise of saving your beloved, and straightforward platforming. If this is what you have been craving, then NX Games’ JackQuest: The Tale Of The Sword should be right up your alley.
The action platformer begins familiarly, with your loved one, Nara, kidnapped by the villainous orc, Korg. It is now up to you and the magic sword, Kuro, to save the day. There are secrets to find, upgrades to obtain, and simple combat throughout your journey to keep things enjoyable.
Like many Metroidvania-inspired games, JackQuest: The Tale Of The Sword has a large enough map that hides health and magic upgrades, alongside new abilities. Obtaining a double jump or the ability to breathe underwater unlocks new areas, as you backtrack and explore.
The task would be too easy without some obstacles in your way. Environmental hazards like spikes, poison, and much more lie in wait, while typical fantasy-style enemies prepare for your arrival. Bats, slimes, and skeletons are familiar fare amongst others, while the various bosses offer a little more challenge due to their size and tactics.
Besting foes often yields cash, which can be traded for potions, magic crystals, and torches that allow you to save anywhere in the game.
While you will obtain a secondary weapon, wielding Kuro is enough to get you through the entire game with just a sword swing. Your magic powers a special windmill attack that grants temporary invulnerability, and can often be a quick getaway when you find yourself trapped.
JackQuest: The Tale Of The Sword is by no means a difficult game, and there are enough upgrades and health drops to ensure your survival. However, like older Megaman games, getting hit can throw you back a significant distance, which can often result in a vicious cycle of hurt while platforming.
Most of JackQuest: The Tale Of The Sword’s platforming sections are uncomplicated, although new abilities will open up areas that can increase in challenge. Hidden items can also require a little more skill in manoeuvring in order to obtain them.
At just about 2 to 3 hours long, JackQuest: The Tale Of The Sword does not wear out its welcome, even with its more simplistic take on a familiar genre.
This is complemented by some pleasant chiptunes to accompany you on your adventure. However, the pixel art aesthetic, while serviceable, does not stand out and is nothing special.
JackQuest: The Tale Of The Sword is short and fun, but if you are looking for a drastic, new take on the Metroidvania genre, this is not for you. However, it is perfect for a palette cleanser, and suitable for anyone new to gaming to pick up and complete.
GEEK REVIEW SCORE
Nothing we have not seen before, JackQuest: The Tale Of The Sword is the perfect game for someone new to today’s more complex gaming landscape.
Gameplay - 7/10
Story - 7/10
Presentation - 7/10
Value - 7/10