Review – Jetboard Joust (Switch)

As someone who has spent the better part of the last week glued to my Nintendo Switch, I can’t say that I’m surprised to see that the company is finally getting into the party game craze. Jetboard Joust is a simple but fun game that has all the right ingredients for a fast-paced and competitive party experience. It draws inspiration from the likes of Mario Party and Bomberman, but Jetboard Joust’s simplified controls and streamlined gameplay make it the ideal console party game for the Switch.

Imagine the classic game Joust, but take the difficulty and challenge to the next level. That’s what you get with Jetboard Joust (Switch), which is a self-proclaimed homage to the original. While the graphics are more modern and the gameplay more intense, Jetboard Joust (Switch) does a great job bringing a classic game into the modern age.

Jetboard Joust is an action-packed jetpack shooter that comes with a single player campaign, a multiplayer mode, and a VR mode that you can play using the Nintendo Switch. The online multiplayer mode, which is called Energy Clash, is a lot like the battle mode from Mario Kart, but with more freedom to access your weapons without falling behind. The campaign has you flying through 8 different zones, fighting a new boss in each one. Blog Post:

In our endless crusade to find every possible genre and style of game that can be converted to roguelike/lite, we ended up with side-scrolling shoot’em ups. Jetboard Joust attempts to add a new level of replayability and complexity to an otherwise stupidly predictable but still intriguing genre by trying to emulate a specific type of shooter that, for unknown reasons, has never managed to become as popular as its more linear brethren. The type of shooter I’m talking about is, forgive the lack of a shorter term, games played like Defender. For those of you who are not game historians or middle-aged people: Defender is a shoot’em up arcade game that came out in the past. It’s made in a repetitive environment where you can move freely left and right, defeat enemies and complete small tasks, for example. B. Rescuing hostages from alien abduction. With the exception of the Fantasy Zone games (and derivatives thereof) and Housemarque’s impressive Resogun, I don’t recall seeing many games that tried to imitate this style. This gives Jetboard Joust an advantage over its counterparts, as it is not as formal as the term roguelike suggests. word-image-5521 See those almost microscopic things next to the rotator icon? You must save them from their enemies, if you can see them at all. The gameplay is reminiscent of old arcade shooters, with the aforementioned roguelike touch. Move from left to right and shoot at everything you see, using as little health and energy as possible, until the game tells you to stop. At this point, two portals open in the middle of the current level: One takes you to the next area, the other allows you to pick up a new weapon and move on. Other than killing enemies and making sure people don’t get kidnapped, that’s what you do in Jetboard Joust until you die. And it soon will be, because each new level sends you new enemies. Two small elements have been added to set Jetboard Joust apart from other shooting games. The first is the ability to use the currency you earn to upgrade the weapons you collect. You’ll have to, because their downtime counters and initial performance are downright lousy. The second is the duel of the title. You can accelerate for a while to ram enemies in front of you, and even though your character is tiny, the hit recognition is pretty forgiving, so you can easily destroy ships that are in a completely different zip code than yours. You can’t use it all the time, it serves more as a defensive way to get out of trouble than an offensive advantage. But it’s still a lot of fun. There are plenty of retro-style games that try to look like something from their family, but fail miserably at it. Maybe it’s the large number of layers, or an unrealistic frame rate that doesn’t at all match the limited capabilities of the hardware they’re trying to emulate. This is not the case with Jetboard Joust. The only thing that ruins the retro-immersion is the fact that there is a constant mass of objects on screen, and the ships and enemies take up very little screen space. However, the soundtrack and graphics are reminiscent of what might have been released in the golden age of arcades. word-image-5522 The assessment mechanisms don’t make sense, but who cares, it’s fun. The addition of roguelike elements to the Defender-inspired shooter was perfect. They were already complex enough and replayable enough, so adding randomly generated levels and upgrades doesn’t seem intrusive at all. Jetboard Joust masterfully combines the retro aesthetic and simplicity of decades-old arcade games with an extra dose of complexity, increasing replay value. The ability to play it on the go is just the icing on the already delicious cake.

Aside from the unrealistic amount of objects that appear on the screen at any given time, which doesn’t fit the 8-bit aesthetic of the game at all, Jetboard Joust is solid. It combines the simple gameplay and controls of the Defender series with roguelike elements such as procedurally generated upgrades and levels. Oddly enough, it works pretty well.
It looks like what an action-packed 8-bit game should look like. It may not be the most memorable soundtrack in recent memory, but it serves its purpose. Defender-type shooting games are already complex and replayable. Adding an extra level with roguelike elements doesn’t seem difficult. Jetboard Joust is a lot of fun in short bursts.
Final decision: 8.0

Jetboard Joust is already available on PC, Switch and… Atari VCS (damn). Check the switch. A copy of Jetboard Joust was provided by the publisher.

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