Written by Game Swap Shop Member, Matthew Tudge
Pumpkin Jack was first released on October 23rd last year, just before Halloween. I remember catching the trailer to the game on the Nintendo YouTube channel and said instantly “I need to play this”. As a massive fan of platformers and growing up with the Playstation One, the vibes I got from the trailer brought back plenty of nostalgia. It reminded me of MediEvil (what a game!).
As soon as the 23rd hit, I purchased the game and got straight into it. It’s not a long game, it took me a few hours to complete but could take a lot longer for completionists. It has a great story, innovative puzzles and lots of challenging gameplay. The game doesn’t overdo the nostalgia unlike some and will sure ignite that Halloween spirit!
Here’s why you should give Pumpkin Jack a go this Halloween if you haven’t already played it…
Once upon a time, in the Boredom Kingdom, all things lived in peaceful coexistence, from humans to cute little bunny rabbits. The world was free from war… hunger… fear… And it was boring. So very, VERY boring. So boring, in fact, that even the Devil found himself dreadfully bored. He dreamt of bloodshed! Lives torn asunder! Fire, brimstone, and the like! So the Devil devised a plan to torment those pitiful, comfortable, BORING humans. He unleashed the Curse of the Eternal Night, a powerful spell that awakened bloodthirsty monsters across the realm.
The humans, however, quite liked their boring little lives. They weren’t just going to sit idly by as monsters destroyed the kingdom… So they called upon a masterful wizard – the only sorcerer powerful enough to put an end to the curse. The Devil – enraged, yet still a little bored – retaliated by summoning the soul of Jack into the skin of a pumpkin. He then sent Jack to the kingdom with one mission: Find and destroy the wizard.
Pumpkin Jack is a classic 3D Platformer before anything else! Every level is designed to challenge the player through several themed platforms, all giving you new trials to complete. As Jack, you will choose your weapon and have to master (the at times janky) combat, timing to dodge and destroy your enemies as well as solve intense puzzles. These puzzle sublevels, entered by finding pumpkin-shaped pillars, focus on physics, gravity, and reflection. In each room you are presented with a riddle, and only finding the correct solution will allow Jack to progress. In this mode, you inhabit a pumpkin to roam around!
I think this is the perfect game for those brought up on games such as the aforementioned MediEvil. It will certainly bring back nostalgia and while the game isn’t perfect, it’s certainly a fun few hours! My favourite part is the story. It kept me engaged throughout and I never wanted to put the game down every time I picked it back up. The biggest downside for some might be the cost although it does appear to be on sale at the moment on Steam and the Nintendo Switch. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was reduced for Playstation and Xbox either given the fact it is Halloween season after all.