Developer: Necrophone Games
Publisher: Adult Swim Games
Release Date: February 7th, 2014
Available on: PC
Cyberpunk is a genre of stories that focuses on the low life people living in high tech times. Steampunk is when regular electricity is replaced with steam. Arcanepunk is a setting which involves both magic and science together. Jazzpunk is… Well honestly I’m not sure, not even after finishing the game. It is funny and entertaining, I can give that much.
In Jazzpunk you’ll be playing as Polyblank, a secret agent sent on various tasks. The first set of missions are more stand alone rather than having much connection between them, though the second half of the story follows a basic plotline. I wasn’t a huge fan of when the plotline did show up since it was rather shallow, though it did at least keep me laughing. The villain, named The Editor, is a fun parody of a lot of James Bond villains. The whole last chapter is pretty hilarious, featuring Polyblank’s encounter with The Editor. That said, there are parts of the plot where random stuff happens and it’s mostly “for the lols.” At one point in the middle of the briefing the room floods. Why? I dunno. It’s funny, that’s why. Something that’s random but not funny are these weird Japanese levels. They’re often very short, serve no purpose other than wasting about five minutes, and don’t really make much sense.
Jazzpunk can best be called a first person adventure game. Your goal is to solve puzzles in levels by interacting with the correct objects while using the correct items. It’s not difficult at all, and there’s no real way to die in the game which is a good thing as it lets you just explore. There’s some side quests and surprisingly funny content you can discover in each level as well. The first level had a quest that had me shooting pigeons with a weird tool. After doing so I’d be able to get a spray of pigeon pheromones that, when used on people, caused them to be carried away by pigeons. In the same level I also helped a frog cross the road in a Frogger styled mini-game, discovered a terminal that put me in a weird survival horror scenario where I had to fight off pizza zombies with a pizza cutter, and one that put me in an arena-styled shooter called Wedding Qake.
Not all of the side activities are golden though. A mission at a resort kept having NPCs telling me to attend a beach party, but upon doing so I found nothing of note there other than a crummy metal detector with a few throw away jokes. The side activities almost feel vital though, as not completing them means you’ll only get about an hour and a half of gameplay out of Jazzpunk. Even with the side activities I only managed to double that time really. Some of the levels lacked any kind of notable side activities at all, which sucked.
Still, I have trouble being too angry at Jazzpunk. While the game was short and not always fun, it was at least almost always funny and I can appreciate the humor. I only hope that any follow up with have some better gameplay to go with it.