Pumpkin Jack Gameplay Preview – Spoopy Scary Pumpkins

*Pumpkin Jack developed by Nicolas Meyssonnier, published by Headup – October 23, 2020 (Xbox One, Switch, PC)
*MSRP: $29.99 (Steam) – https://store.steampowered.com/app/1186640/Pumpkin_Jack/

Pumpkin Jack is the perfect game to play to get into the spoopy, festive spirit of Halloween for all ages. It’s a competent action adventure platformer that controls well and looks great. The game is chock full of lighthearted humor and tongue in cheek puns and manages to be somewhat wholesome, even though the devil supposedly released a curse to end mankind. Oh that trickster, always trying to end humanity.

The cutscenes are cute little cartoons. Here we see Jack shoved into a pumpkin and thrown to Earth.

You play as Stingy Jack, the world’s greatest con-man who even managed to trick the devil three times. He was banished to wander the earth as a spirit for eternity until the devil called him back and made a deal with him. He would return Jack to Earth in a pumpkin in order to deal with a human wizard who was hellbent on destroying the devil’s curse in exchange for passage to the afterlife.

The combat looks and feels pretty great. You can dodge, attack, and used ranged attacks in quick succession.

The gameplay is pretty straight forward. You explore each level as you try to find the wizard and fight anyone who gets in your way. At your disposal are a regular attack, a double jump, an aerial attack after double jumping, a ranged attack from your trusty but cowardly crow companion, and a dodge move. The combat feels pretty smooth and it does feel satisfying to attack, dodge, and use ranged attacks in quick succession. The combat does tend to be on the easier side in terms of difficulty but it is still quite easy to die if you play sloppily.

This traveling merchant takes skins to a literal level.

The pacing of the game is smart as well. As you explore each level, you can find collectable skulls to unlock skins and gramophones that unlock a cute cutscene of Jack dancing to some music. The skins are quite literal according to the wandering merchant. The collectables break up the tedium of exploration, and inserted in clusters across the maps are combat sections. In addition to this, there are platforming puzzle sections where you control Jack’s head, which can detach from his body. Also included in the levels are short on-rail platforming sequences to further spice things up.

The pacing of the game is well designed with different segments, like this escape from a flaming farm, keeping things fresh.

Overall, Pumpkin Jack is a well made and fun action adventure platformer. The combat feels great and has some depth to it. The writing is lighthearted and the humor tongue in cheek. The pacing of the game is intelligent and well designed as it introduces different things to keep the flow of the game interesting and fresh. The game will take around six or more hours to beat.

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