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- January 10, 2022
This review was played on pre-launch, early access build, so content is subject to change.
Neko Ghost, Jump! Is a cute puzzle platformer.Do not let the looks on this one fool you, this game is difficult. It will require patience and a lot of trial and error. You will have to look at platforming in a whole new way. As you brave through the levels not only will you have to switch from 2D perspective to 3D, but also you will need to switch physical form into ghost form.
The game starts us off with a beautiful cinematic, Panning over and through this remote village. The villagers are enjoying a nice cat wedding, for it to be only interrupted by them rotten space dogs, who destroy everything and kidnaps some of the residents. Your goal of the game is to get to the floating pirate ship. At the end of each level, when you think you are going to be able to climb up that anchor, onto the floating pirate ship it flies off into another part of the world.
" Making you think of platforming a whole new light. "
Neko Ghost, Jump! Concept is a very unique and interesting one, I had to completely forget what I knew about platforming,as the game introduced so many new ways to look at it. Thankfully the developers start you off slow in learning all these new mechanics. The first few levels will be spent teaching you all the aspects needed to play this game to perfection. One of the first things you will learn is how to jump further.With two simple button presses seems easy enough, well in theory. Even with the tutorial levels per-se, we spent countless hours actually learning how to time jumps properly, or chain jumps into a bunny hops to extend our range and keep up our speed.
After you learn how to jump, You are introduced to the crème de la crème of Neko Ghost, Jump!, the various different perspectives. As I was dropped into another level it looked easy enough. A few jumps and I was done. Then the curve ball was throwing my way, an obstacle in front of me, i could not jump high enough, I then pressed the switch to 3D mode, and behold there was a hole on the other side of the obstacle that i could just navigate around, This actually is such a nice concept i seen myself a few times throughout forgetting that you actually have to switch perspective, it took me quite a bit to wrap my head around it, not only because how cool or unique it is, but because it opens your mind to look at a level or puzzle in a whole new way.
The last mechanic you will learn is another awesome one, the ghost form. While you will spend most of your time in the “Alive” cat body, to get rid of the enemies in the level you will need to switch into your ghost form, this is the one that actually can attack. My first few attempts at this were pleasant to say the least. At the beginning of the game I found myself not utilizing the full power of this form, I would just switch just before an enemy to then slay him and snap back to my body. After a few attempts and figuring out that I can still take damage also to my body, I left it further back and used it to scout and clear the path, which made for a way better time later into the game. Although you need to be smart with it because, once you switch back to normal mode, you will be where you left your body previously. Just like every other mechanic you learned before this will take some time to master, how to use it efficiently and cleanly.
Even with Neko Ghost, Jump! Being in early access, we still had so much content to play around with. Currently in the game there are 7 different biomes each with 4 levels and a boss level and each bringing their own different types of enemies and obstacles for you to traverse. On paper it does not seem like a lot, but this is challenging so it will take you longer than you anticipate, And with each of the three challenges to complete in each level,you will be kept entertained for hours.
" A challenging game with plenty of content. "
These challenges include collecting all the coins, killing all the enemies and finishing under a certain time(the speed run challenge). This is a platformer speed running game at its core after all. Each level is timed, with each coin pickup knocking seconds off the clock and killing the enemies, your pathing and choice how to complete the level is totally down to you, while the obstacles will remain the same, your choice to skip certain collectables for a faster run is a totally viable strategy, but do not worry if you are a casual gamer like myself, You will not be locked out from progressing as collecting all the coins and killing each enemy in the levels will give you enough badges to unlock the boss level.
During my time in the game, I died hundreds of times more than I like to admit , and before this game I thought I was good at platformers.I was wrong. I may have died a lot and failed miserably at some jumps, but oddly enough i never felt like giving up, the game pushes you to try again and with levels being short in length it didn’t feel too much of a let down if i died, than say i was to spend 30 mins only to die at the last second and have to restart.It is all about the execution and i think they have done a good job keeping you entertained without making you frustrated or annoyed.
If you do get frustrated or annoyed, you do not even have to leave the game, they have little mini games for you to play, and win them coins for some cool cat drip, with little features like this it is hard not to see the developers are trying their best to accommodate all types of players.
" Tries to be inclusive of everyone. "
Neko Ghost, Jump! Is actually a solid platforming game, and i would happily die countless more times to try and push past my own times, the unique concept that they brought to the genre is a breath of fresh air, and while there is a steep learning curve to the game, it does not disappoint even for the causal player. It is actually even hard to tell that it is in early access; we found no concerning issues with the game other than a few balancing issues. It ran smoothly even though the transitions to a different perspective had no impact on performance. The developers even already have implemented a host of different accessibility options for the visual feedback of the game to make the game accessible for all, you can tweak just about the colour of object in the game to help you see better when traversing through the levels.This is a big plus in my book, sadly this is overlooked in a lot of games, but it was delivered in this one. All this was achieved by a team of 9 people on their first title together, it is truly impressive.
- Fresh Concept, Truely Delivered.8.3
“Neko Ghost, Jump! Is an absolute brilliant game, they took a fresh concept and executed it flawlessly, With multiple perspectives, and forms for you to master, each run feels unique and awesome. Even with early access game runs and feels smooth”
- Art Direction8
- Sound Direction8