[Beyond PlayStation] Pumpkin Jack Review
Pumpkin Jack from Headup Games is a 3D action platformer that pays homage to the genre’s classics. Learn more in our Pumpkin Jack review!
In Pumpkin Jack from Headup Games, you’ll be taking control of the titular Jack in a 3D action platformer that pays homage to the classics in the genre. The game is a bit on the linear side of things, giving us a 3D game that at times reminded me of Medievil with a dash of the Crash Bandicoot series. One day, the Devil was tired of how boring things were at the Great Arc En Ciel Kingdom, so he unleashed a Curse of Eternal Night. All was going well until the humans decided to ask for the aid of their champion: the mighty Wizard! It’s because of this that the Devil finds himself in need of calling in Jack, the greatest trickster in history. As long as Jack got rid of the Wizard, the Devil would forgive Jack’s past misdeeds, offering him a chance to finally move to the afterlife.
You can move Jack with the left analog stick, swinging the camera around with the right one. You will jump and double jump with the B button, attacking with the Y button. You can dodge attacks with the A button if you time things right. Any items you pick up will be sent to your inventory, from where you’ll be able to equip the different weapons you’ll obtain during your journey. The L button will be used to dispatch your crow, which can be used to, for example, hit part of a bridge to bring it down so that you can cross over the deadly waters. The crow can also be used for long-range attacks so that you can keep a safe distance from enemies.
As I mentioned before, the game’s stages are a bit on the linear side of things, so there’s going to be just one main path you can take as you traverse through each stage from point A to point B. You will have the chance to explore a bit more in each level to find some collectibles, but most of your time will be spent running and jumping around, destroying the ghouls with melee weapons, the ghouls with long-range weapons, the giant bats that vomit acid, and the ghosts that attack in packs.
Every stage will have crow skulls, which will act as the game’s currency. These can be exchanged with the merchant to purchase access to different skins to change Jack’s look. As long as you pay attention and follow their glow, you shouldn’t have much trouble finding all of them. Something else that glows and is useful are the many cauldrons in your journey. They will act as checkpoints in a level, saving your progress up until that point. And if you drink from them with the X button, you’ll also recover any lost health! Speaking of which, you should also be sure to break all objects you find since they will release a bit of monster essence so that you can heal your wounds.
The first boss you’ll fight will be a large scarecrow that has been bothering the crows. Once you start the battle, the scarecrow will first rise from the ground, shooting at you. Once you get an opening, you can send the crow to attack him, which will make him dizzy for a moment, allowing you to get closer and unleash a combo or two. After this, the scarecrow will get angry and will call on some minions to attack you. Repeat this cycle three times, and you’ll defeat him, and you’ll be rewarded with a new weapon to replace your shovel.
At times you’ll have to leave your body for some special sections during which Jack’s pumpkin head will grow tentacles so that it can walk and jump. These will be of the puzzle platforming variety since you’ll need to push boxes to be able to reach levers that need to be activated, or you’ll be asked to push a bomb over a series of platforms so that you can throw it against a bunch of preset explosives to open the way.
In order to help you get into the holiday spirit, Pumpkin Jack recently got a new update that adds a new Christmas outfit for Jack that will make it snow when he wears it! On top of this, there will also be some decorative elements on stages – such as snowmen -, as well as five festive gifts on each stage for you to collect. If you collect all five gifts in each stage, then you’ll unlock some extra surprises!
If you’re looking for a fun – if by the numbers – 3D platformer, then Pumpkin Jack will certainly do the trick. Other than having to adjust to the floatiness of Jack’s jumps and needing to turn up the camera’s sensitivity to the max – I had a good time with Jack’s adventure, unlocking new weapons and meeting new characters along the way. Pumpkin Jack is out now on Nintendo Switch with a $29.99 asking price and will bring you back to enjoying a game that feels like the old-school 3D platforming classics of ages past.
This Pumpkin Jack review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Headup Games.