Today we are going to review a game that caught my attention by seeming like a good game but it suffered a huge downfall when I started playing, Pumpkin Jack seemed great before buying but ultimately disappointed me big time. How come? We will explore it all in this review of Pumpkin Jack. In Pumpkin Jack you play as a trickster that is resurrected by the devil himself to ensure the downfall of the humans. You will need to platform and fight your way through a horde of enemies but that is already where the game goes wrong. You are sent to help the undead and monsters fight the humans but weirdly enough in this game, you fight mostly undead creatures and monsters.
There are collectibles in this game to unlock costumes but it was not appealing at all to collect these items. The game does have a nice feeling and the graphics look great but the game is too short and the combat feels too bland, the combat is just button mashing and in most cases, I was able to just run through the enemies. The game is sold for a high price but I was able to finish the game in three hours. All ingredients are here to make a great game but it just falls short in many ways.
What did I think of Pumpkin Jack before playing?
This game did seem appealing to me before playing because the trailer looks great and it reminisces games from long ago like Medieval or Nightmare Before Christmas Oogie’s Revenge.
I was excited to try out this game because indie developers usually work hard on their games and this usually shows in their end product. The steam reviews are also positive but you can also see that most people found this game too expensive.
I did think this game would be a great addition to review as it was also requested by Jett and JC, I decided to put this game in the poll of January but this game only got third place, nonetheless, here is the review!
I contacted the developers and it became clear to me that they clearly have a god complex considering their game, they declined my offer to review their game for free and told me that only people on top of the food chain would be getting keys from them.
I don’t mind getting declined but thinking your game is awesome, the best ever game made and declining many reviewers usually ends up bad for developers. I think they flew a little bit close to the sun and burned their wings.
This game wants you to pay $30 dollars for a measly three hours of gameplay, there are indie games only asking you $7,50 dollars that have over 20 hours of gameplay time.
I bought the game myself and I was wondering what to expect because I had very mixed feelings when starting this game.
I rate Pumpkin Jack with a 6.8 before playing.
The game looks great before buying but I had a gut feeling that something was wrong when I bought the game, it appears my gut feeling was right in the end. If you can pay $30 for a few hours of gameplay, go right ahead!
The devil decides one day to wipe out the humans once and for all and summons his undead creatures to the land to kill the humans, the humans fight back and find a wizard that can send the wretched creatures back from whence they came.
The devil summons Jack the Trickster and puts his soul in a pumpkin body to defeat the good wizard. For some reason, the allies of Jack keep fighting him, I have no clue why.
The story made absolutely no sense whatsoever, the setting is right, the characters are perfect, the humor is great but still, the developers messed this up. Why don’t you need to take out hordes of humans? Why do you fight your allies? Why are there only six levels to tell only a part of the story? Whatever way I try, I cannot wrap my head around this story.
The gameplay is bad, and not because it is a 3D platformer or because of the combat, let me go into detail. Your character is very floaty and stiff, this means that a lot of the jumps can go wrong because the character model won’t turn the way it should, this is very uncanny. Most of my deaths were because of this mechanic in the game. The combat feels very bland and all you need to do is mash the button like a crazy person to defeat all the enemies around you. Do you need health? All items can be wrecked to restore your health completely. This makes the game boring and non-challenging in every way. At the end of the levels, you fight a boss but these bosses are just pushovers and your death has no penalty.
After each level, you will unlock new weapons but most of the weapons work the same except for the shotgun, wait, hold up a shotgun? I have no clue what time period this game plays in but a shotgun definitely does not feel at home here, nonetheless, this ranged weapon is too overpowered and can make you a super crazy button masher!
There are a few minigames in Pumpkin Jack, like riding a minecart or losing your head to do a small minigame. The cart riding was fun but losing your head and going to a completely new map to do this puzzle felt disruptive to me. There are collectibles but I am still not exactly sure what some of the collectibles do, the presents add letters from Santa Claus? Does the gramophone do nothing but a cringe-inducing dance? Why could the gramophone not give you buff or more health?
I was disappointed in the collectibles and decided to not even collect them all.
I rate the gameplay of Pumpkin Jack with a 3.5
The gameplay is shallow, the jumping animation is stiff and does not work properly, the combat is a button-mashing headache-inducing fest, you fight your allies, the weapons are all the same except for the overpowered shotgun. The collectibles are not fun to collect, mid-bosses get rehashed and you actually have to fight them twice, their ghost version does exactly the same. The mini-games disrupt the flow of the game, this could have been great but I think something went wrong along the way and it feels like a rushed product even though the production took around four years.
Sound and Graphics
The graphics look great, but the design of the levels is what put me off, I don’t know if anyone noticed it, but this is an exact rip-off from Nightmare Before Christmas, you also end in a snow village resembling Christmas town from Nightmare Before Christmas.
I do like that people get inspired by games but completely ripping something off goes against everything in my book, Pumpkin Jack could have been been a copy-paste.
The sound was good but it did not feel fitting at all, I disliked the sound effects and except for the narrator, there was no voice acting. I would have gone with something completely different.
I rate the sound and graphics with a 1.0
Even though I did like the graphics and the sound, the level ideas are a complete rip-off from Nightmare Before Christmas not inspired by. This is something that goes against everything in my book. I feel like I need to pull out an example here for proper reasoning, everyone that saw my review on raft knew that it was a unique idea to survive on a raft. Now, look up on Steam, survive on a raft, complete rip-off, and copies all the mechanics of raft. If you want a true 3D platformer with good combat and music, go play Nightmare Before Christmas Oogie’s revenge and save Santa Claus instead.
What did I think of Pumpkin Jack after playing?
The developers build up their game hugely in my eyes by rejecting my request because I am not on top of the food chain but I worked my butt off to get this far!
Nonetheless, I did think the game would be good because the trailer showed promise, I am sad that I wasted my money on this game. I hoped I had completed the game faster, that way I could ask for a refund.
I disliked almost everything in this game and nothing made sense even though all the right assets are there to make a wonderful game, also remove the snow level that resembles the Christmas town.
Renaming the character would also have been a great way, I think using the name Pumpkin Jack was wrong, there is only one Pumpkin King Jack and he is not in this game.
Playing this game made me feel sad instead of happy but I still think some people can enjoy this game, just wait for this game to be on sale for a lower price.
I rate Pumpkin Jack with a 2.0 after playing.
Most of the mechanics don’t work, the combat is shallow, the game is not inspired by but rips of other games, including the names of the characters. My biggest problem is still that you fight undead creatures while you should be killing humans.
I disliked this game a lot, I wish I could have completed this game faster, this way I could have gotten a refund.
My personal rating is of Pumpkin Jack is a 0.9
I still think zero is too low because using these assets the developer could have made a great game.
– This game can be fun if you don’t know the original games, it does resemble older games.
– Using these assets the developers could have made a great game.
– This game rips of multiple other games like Nightmare before Christmas, I don’t feel this game is inspired by.
– Pumpkin Jack steals the name from Nightmare Before Christmas.
– The combat is shallow, all you need to do is mash a button.
– The collectibles are not fun or worth it to collect.
– The jumping animation does not work properly, this makes you fall into the abyss a lot.
– You have to fight your allies instead of the enemy.
– You can finish the game in about three hours.
– There are only six levels to complete.
– This game is very expensive for the small amount of gameplay.
– Mid-bosses get rehashed and you will need to fight them twice with no difference, the boss mechanics get copy-pasted.
-All the weapons work the same except for the shotgun, what is a shotgun even doing in this game?
I would not recommend this game at all, it is better to invest your money in a different game.
To clarify, I did not give this game a low rating because I did not get the key for free, there are also other games that I reviewed that were not given to me like Raft which got a 7.6 for the final rating, or Monster Train that received a final rating of 8.1.
Bounty battle was handed to me for free for reviewing and got a 1 as a final rating.
Given or not does not affect my personal or professional rating!
The final rating of Jack ( you are not a real pumpkin!) is a …drumroll.
The final verdict: You are not the true Pumpkin Jack, you are just a faker!
Let me know what you think about this game in the comments!
I hope you enjoy reading this review, I hope to see you soon in the next review!