JackQuest: Tale of the Sword Review
Quick Glance: JackQuest: Tale of the Sword
Platform: PS4 (reviewed), Xbox One, Switch, PC
Players – 1
Achievements – Yes, trophies
Retail Price - $9.99
High Level Premise – Action/Adventure platformer
Graphics/Style – A cross-over of 16-bit & 32-bit era pixel art
Music/Soundtrack – JackQuest literally has one song! It’s decent, but does little for the overall atmosphere of the game
Story – Help Jack rescue his kidnapped S.O.S. from an evil orc!
Replay-ability – Low – There’s little reason to return to this one after completion. Achieving 100% on the first play through isn’t terribly difficult. Speed runners may find a lot to love here
Time Commitment – 2-3 hours
Value – Moderate: JackQuest is a bite-sized adventure, with little more to offer than a quality campaign that can be tackled in one evening
Favorite Element – While a bit basic, the controls are excellent
Would it be far-fetched to say 2-D platformers are a dime a dozen this generation? The PlayStation store has become flooded with the genre (along with so many others), making it difficult to identify the titles that are worthy of your time. Being a bite-sized addition, JackQuest is fun little escapade that could likely get lost in the shuffle without enough exposure. So where does it fall in 2019? With a quality campaign that’s fairly accessible for all, it truly depends on what you’re looking for, because there’s little more here than an adventure that can be wrapped up over the course of an evening.
Let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way – JackQuest is short, and will likely leave little reason for the player to return for a second bout. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing however, as often times you’re not looking for something that has backlog potential. There isn’t even much of a story to be told either - girl gets captured, hero goes on an adventure to rescue her. For all that JackQuest does right, its length is forgivable if you know what you’re up against in advance. It should also be noted that speed runners will find a lot to love here, as the core mechanics rely purely on skill with little dialogue to get in the way. As for the trophy hunters, you’ll have that platinum by the end of the game if you take your time searching every corner for the games secrets.
JackQuest controls like a dream. While extremely basic, the game leaves us with little in the way of platforming mechanics outside of your sword attack and a double jump. There is literally nothing that will come in the way of convoluting its skill-based platforming, making JackQuest an excellent choice for both seasoned players and newcomers alike. The game is not terribly difficult, however later areas are sure to test your skills. If you die, it’s on you – not the game.
Honestly, it’s a crime that this game isn’t made available on the Vita. While the system is in its twilight years, the type of experience being offered would have been a perfect fit for the portable. Trophy hunters would certainly be more inclined to scoop it up, especially if there was a cross-buy option. Thankfully, Switch owners will have that portable luxury, even if it lacks an achievement system.
In all, JackQuest is a great game that will provide you with a short-lived quality experience, at an inexpensive price of admission. That’s a rare find these days, but if it’s what you’re after, it’s bound to meet your expectations. It’s easily accessible for just about everyone, making it easy to recommend for all walks of life. The majority of players who take this game on will find a one & done experience that is gone too soon.