The Arc En Ciel Kingdom is just bliss. All the inhabitants are prospering, and the cohabitation between humans and animals has hit a new high! The sky is blue, and nature is beautiful, full of life and colour; it’s truly a peachy paradise! So sweet and so dull. . . That is exactly what the Devil thought about the Arc En Ciel Kingdom. “Let’s spice it up, shall we!” shouts the Devil, bounding off his chair and looking at the pathetic Kingdom. Then, with a blink of his eyes, he inflicts the region with the worst malediction ever. . . the curse of the Eternal Night! But the Humans loved their peachy lives, and so they called upon the greatest wizard of the land to eradicate the evil curse and its monsters. “NO… NO… NO…” screamed the Devil! He too has his champion! The biggest trickster of all time, and he’ll eliminate the wizard. So, get ready peasants, because his majesty the Devil is sending to the Kingdom, Jack . . . Pumpkin Jack!
Pumpkin Jack is a colourful action 3D platformer game developed by Nicolas Meyssonnier and published by Headup Game on the 24th of October 2020 on the Steam platform. The game is also available on Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.
The game consists of six levels in total, which all include a boss fight at the end to successfully complete them.
What an excellent and well-thought-out game Pumpkin Jack is. At the start of the first of level, you have a fantastic, illustrated introduction, and then the pleasure of seeing a new one each time you reach another stage. From the second stage to the last, it will be a recollection of what you went through on the previous level and what is coming up next. I really enjoy this type of storytelling which, by the way, is well narrated with funny dialogue that keeps you entertained between levels.
After Jack crash-landed his pumpkin head into Arc En Ciel like a meteor that crashed into another planet, the first level will start. As you can imagine, Jack will be a bit disoriented for a short time, but soon after, he will meet an owl, sent by the Devil himself. Jack will be able to talk to the owl a few times within each level, which you might give you a few laughs. The owl will also be at checkpoints where you can save your progress. Early on, Jack will also meet a scarecrow, who turns out to be some sort of secondary weapon, as Jack can send him to attack an enemy from a distance. In term of weapons, Jack will first use a shovel to defeat monsters, humans and other weird enemies, and he will be rewarded with a new weapon each time he defeats a boss.
What makes Pumpkin Jack so much fun to play is the way the developer manages to bring us a game that links with great artwork, great storytelling and a spooky atmosphere, all mixed into a variety of of gameplay. There is the classic style of 3D platformer where you have to find a specific path (which in this game is basically following the cut ropes), as well as mini-games, races and a couple of fast-paced parkours, all of which is super fun! In all the levels, Jack arrives at some sort of an impasse, and nearby you find a rock structure which has a body of a small well and a pumpkin head instead of a roof. At which point Jack twists off his head from his body and dumps it into the well. The mini games are a great addition and are easy to figure out. Depending on the level, there are also either races or fast-paced parkour twice per level. Not only that, but there are also collectables to find. Each level will have 20 hidden masks and one hidden gramophone. If you manage to find the gramophone in each stage, Jack will show you his dancing talent, which makes me wonder if there is some sort of talent show in Hell (perhaps something like, Monster Got Talent in Hell). In any case, Jack can groove, let me tell you. With the masks you collect, you can buy Pumpkin Jack new skins when you find the location of the creepy hidden salesman.
In terms of the enemy, there are not too many, and I must say they were easy to eliminate, including the bosses. In fact, most of Jack’s deaths in my playthrough occurred in parkours or when I didn’t manage to reach a platform and fell to my death. I think only one boss gave me a couple of fatalities; apart from that I sailed through pretty quickly. I think one big point this game is missing is the ability to change the level of difficulty and as far as I can see is set as one for all. It’s a shame because the game would have been even better with the possibility to increase the level of difficulty, and therefore also increase the level of replayability. Nonetheless, you are able to replay a completed level in case you haven’t found all the masks and gramophones. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Pumpkin Jack, and let’s face it, it’s not every day you can play the Devil’s champion.
Overall, the game has stunning artwork, great soundtrack and runs well! I didn’t encounter any issues during my gameplay or after loading a saved game. Plenty of options in the settings and the game has been translated into 10 languages, including Polish, Turkish, Arabic and the other main languages. In terms of the length of the game, I finished my first playthrough in about 7 hours, and that was without finding all the masks (I have 90% of them) and gramophones (I’ve only found three so far). The controls are really responsive, and I recommend playing the game with a gamepad.
Review written by THE CPT FROGGY for Zeepond.com
Positives+ Fabulous artwork
+ Great levels design with spooky atmosphere
+ Great story with plenty of humour
+ A good 3D platformer with mini-games and fast-paced parkour per level
+ Super fun to play
+ Interesting boss fights
+ Collectables to find
+ Achievements and trad
Negatives- Quite easy as you can’t change the level of difficulty
- A bit short
Play the Devil’s advocate and destroy the Arc En Ciel Kingdom and its wizard champion as Pumpkin Jack!
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Zeepond Rating: 8/10
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