JARS Gameplay Preview

Developed by Mousetrap Games, published by Daedalic Entertainment – October 20, 2021 (S, PC)
*MSRP: $11.99 – https://store.steampowered.com/app/1590750/JARS/

JARS is basically a deck building tower defense game with light puzzle elements. The main objective of the game is to break all the jars while protecting your chest. The jars may or may not contain enemies. The later levels introduce new mechanics and objectives, such as flipping certain switches to end the level.

The basic premise of the game is to find a way to break all the jars without losing your chest.

The basic premise of the game is simple. The game takes place on a shelf with jars. You must break all the jars while protecting your chest. Some jars are marked with friendly minions you can use or some power ups. Other jars are marked with unfriendly animals and insects. The unmarked jars may contain friendly or non friendly units. It becomes a light puzzle where you have to strategically break the jars and place units in the right places to defend your chest.

You can swap out your minions and also equip them with upgrades to suit your play style.

The game is similar to a very stripped down deck building game. You can pick up to three minions per level. Some levels will restrict you to a lower number or require certain types such as flying. After picking your minions, you can equip them with items to increase certain stats. They usually add in a bonus ability, such as revealing the contents of nearby jars, or increase one stat at the expense of another. For example, one item will increase damage but reduce health. The items have shapes such as squares and circles and every minion can only equip certain shapes so not all upgrades can be equipped on every minion to keep it balanced.

This is the glue power up, it temporarily freezes enemies in place. It’s very powerful when used with the mobile mosquito.

You also get power ups in every level. They are one time use abilities such as the super glue, which will freeze all the enemy minions for a short time or the dart which will cause instant damage to one minion. The power ups are pretty handy when used with certain combinations. Using the super glue with the mosquito minion will let the mosquito deal massive damage without taking any damage in return. Choosing what power ups to use and when adds another element on top of the light puzzle mechanics.

This level was a bit of a challenge. The easiest way to win is to pipette the wasps directly on top of the enemies and then glue them in place.

The levels have a light puzzle aspect to the design as well. Most levels are pretty straight forward and can be won without using much strategy but some levels require a little bit of planning. One level comes to mind where a lot of enemy minions were trapped behind a locked door. One enemy minion is on the outside near the door. You have limited time to kill the enemy before it opens the door and safely defeat the other enemies. The only problem is your own minion will open the door as well. The design was pretty neat and other levels have similar puzzle aspects to them as well.

Overall, JARS is a pretty decent deck building tower defense game with light puzzle elements. The levels are pretty easy for the most part with the exception of a few levels that are actually very challenging. It’s a nice, straight forward game to play.

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