Platformer games seem to focus a lot on style and there is no surprise when an art style can look simple on purpose. Here we have a simple hand-drawn aesthetic. In Jack N’Jill DX you control your choice of either Jack or Jill. The entire goal is to make it to the end of the level to reach the other. You don’t get to move on your own, you are pushed forward and the only way to change directions is to hit a wall. As you progress you will gain more abilities such as wall jumping. The art style wasn’t enough to create the type of charm others have had success with.
Here’s what I liked:
Gradual Incline — The first world is quite easy and it almost seems like there isn’t much to offer. As you complete each area, you will realize there are actually a bunch of new ways to die. The shift in your opinion is as sudden as Jack and Jill falling down the hill. It’s a daunting realization of just how many more levels there are, and the steady incline of difficulty that will soon ramp up. But that is one of the core elements done well. The difficulty ramps up. I was a bit taken aback as I saw the levels unfold and present itself challenges I wasn’t expecting after the first world. There are also power-ups that are introduced and you collect them on your nonstop path to save your companion. The pacing is just fantastic.
Unlockables — Care to buy Jack or Jill a new hat? Maybe you’d like to stop staring at a black and white theme. You can customize both by collecting coins throughout the levels. They are used to play mini-games you unlock with each world completion. Once in the challenge, you pick up tickets that are traded for these various unlockables. The system makes sense and adds flavor to such a simplistic game. Coins are easy to come by and you can choose which mini-game to use them on. I admit to wanting to buy all the colors just to see how they looked.
Here’s what I didn’t like:
Entertainment — Beyond how well this game was made and put together, it’s actually quite boring. After obtaining all of the achievements, which I may add you can do within around 30 to 45 minutes, there really isn’t much more I wanted to do. While I can appreciate the art style and features, I just struggled to feel any real desire to continue the journey. With the lack of story and no real sense of accomplishment, I just don’t think it’s very fun.
Everything about the game seems to make sense. It also isn’t anything you’ll fall in love with. Without substance, I can’t imagine anyone spending more than a few hours playing. Luckily the game is also on par with its price point. If you like easy achievements then, by all means, you can do it in one small gaming session. On a mobile device, this would be a pretty good time killer, but I can’t really say the same for a console.
Score: Limited Appeal
Jack N’ Jill DX was published by Ratalaika Games SL and developed by Rohan Narang on Xbox One. It was released on September 26, 2018 for $4.99. A copy was provided by the publisher for review purposes.