• Allan Jenks

Review #019: Jack N' Jill DX (Nintendo Switch)

Updated: Oct 8, 2019

Reviewed By: Allan J.

Developed By: Rohan Narang

Published By: Ratalaika Games

Category: Platformer, Arcade, Adventure

Release Date: 9.28.2018



Purchase Jack N' Jill DX from the Nintendo eShop here.


Overview

Jack N’ Jill DX is an auto-run platformer game set in the style of the original Game Boy. You play the part of Jack, a white blob-creature doing everything he can to find his lost girlfriend, Jill. That’s about it for the story, but that’s not what we’re here for. We’re here to get lost in the beautiful simplicity that is a single-button, old school platforming adventure.


Gameplay

The controls are simple. Press A to start going, and press A again to jump, ricochet off of walls, fly, jump some more… you get the idea. You have no control over the direction you go other than bouncing off of the correct walls when you encounter them. The gameplay is set up to guide you, one skill at a time, through well over 100 different stages to solve. Thankfully, there are infinite lives, because while the controls are simple enough, the challenge is anything but. Each stage, even from the beginning, is a well-designed challenge involving a great deal of timing, memorization, and patience. I, on several occasions, spent 20 minutes just dying over and over again on the same stage until I finally made it through to Jill at the end of the stage.


The response time with the controls is very good, which is a plus, because several stages require incredibly precise timing and pressure for the jumping. The way the stages are set up keeps you on your toes, often times making you have to fight the instinctual urge to tap the jump button rather than letting Jack just do his thing. Nothing like making it to 99% of the stage and within sight of Jill at the end only to fall short by a pixel and meet your demise.



This game can be very frustrating, but the feeling of accomplishment when you do finally clear a level is rather nice. Each world that you clear unlocks a new mini game where you can earn tickets and coins that can be used to purchase new clothes for your character, or even keys to unlock stages you just can’t seem to beat. You can also go back and play the stages you have already cleared, so if you get a little too frustrated with the current stage, you have something to take your mind off of it for a few minutes.


Audio & Visuals

The music and visuals of Jack N’ Jill DX are quite intentionally designed to resemble a classic Game Boy game, but at the same time have taken advantage of modern audio/visual advances. The graphics, while simplistic and black and white, are very smooth and easy to look at. The music is retro, but original, and very catchy. The sound effects for the most part are OK, but they do get a little too loud sometimes, like the collapsing bricks that fall as you run over them. You do have the option of turning the effects or background music off if you like, but there is no volume control otherwise for either.


Fun Factor?

I honestly did not think I would enjoy an auto-run game this much. I thought it would be boring and repetitive, but I was wrong. This game makes the most of the A button, and incorporates different skills to add in to the gameplay as you move through the different worlds. It is continuously more challenging as you progress, but rarely overwhelmingly difficult. The fun-factor is definitely here with this one.



Wrapping Up

Jack N’ Jill DX is a fun and entertaining game. The navigation between different play modes is a bit odd and takes some getting used to, but aside from that, I really can’t say anything bad about this game. It goes for $4.99 in the Switch eShop, which is a very good price. With over 100+ stages to play plus the mini-games and challenges you can unlock along the way, I would say it is worth well more than the tiny price tag it has. I would recommend this for anyone who loves a good platformer game, and especially so if you are a fan of the original Gameboy feel. I am glad to have this one as a part of my Switch library for sure!


Final Score: 8.5/10


Purchase Jack N' Jill DX from the Nintendo eShop here.


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