Like most of you I’m getting impatient with all this waiting for Halloween, dammit they should rename October to just Halloween, but I digress. Since I have this itchy scab that’s Halloween that needs to be scratched, Headup Games came along and tore it off with Pumpkin Jack. Is the game worth having for this time of year? Let’s take a look.
Pumpkin Jack takes place in a kingdom where peace is a fact of life, the devil found this boring and caused a curse that put the world into darkness and brought forth monsters to terrorize the people. The people called for a wizard to save them, so the devil called a champion to kill the wizard, Jack, a wandering spirit who had his soul put into a pumpkin. Jack sets out with an Owl and Crow companions to fight monsters and search for the Wizard.
Now onto the game itself. When it comes to the game’s art, it’s extremely colorful and vibrant! Even in its darkest lighting, it’s still quite colorful and of course, there are lots of Halloween color palettes being used!
Pumpkin Jack’s soundtrack is really good; it catches the Halloween vibe that you would want in a game themed like this. The only voice acting is the narrator during cutscenes but I wish that the other characters would have had voice over actors as well as there’s times that you have to be running for your life and can’t read what your cohorts are saying!
The overall gameplay is pretty fun as there’s platforming and puzzle-solving and times you literally have to use your (pumpkin) head. There are skulls hidden in each level that can be found by listening to the droning sounds they make, you collect them and you can unlock costumes for Jack to wear.
When it comes to the game’s combat, the only complaint I have about it is that it lacks a targeting system where you can lock on an enemy and face them, the camera is too free-roaming making it difficult to face a specific direction to fight foes. The issue when it comes to controls and camera also plays a factor when it comes to the platforming as it sometimes appears as if Jack is on ice.
Overall Pumpkin Jack was a fun playthrough, and a pretty good game overall considering that it was developed by ONE guy, Nicolas Meyssonier, so some of the negative things about the game I can actually forgive if this was a game put out by a triple a developer, I would not be so forgiving. The story is fun, the gameplay with the puzzles and fighting is enjoyable for the most part, the music sets the mood, and the art is amazing. On my scale of 1-10, it ranks high due to the fact that a lone wolf dev was able to make all this but the issues involving controls affect it, Pumpkin Jack is an 8/10!
Pumpkin Jack is out now on Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Steam