Jazzpunk is a single player adventure game, it was originally developed and released on PC back in 2014. Each mission has one central objective to complete, but they player is free to explore each unique environment filled with jokes, mini games based on classic throwback games, and interactions with the odd people that inhabit this game. Some of the mini games I went through were clones of Space Invaders, a unique twist on Duck Hunt where I was able to shoot toast from a toaster at ducks, a wrestling match with a Macho Man impersonator, and my personal favorite me beating up a car just like back in Street Fighter II.
The game is centered on a top-secret espionage agency operating out of an abandoned subway station in a fictional place called Japanada in the late 1950s. The player takes the role of Polyblank, a silent protagonist. The game begins when Polyblank is mailed to the espionage agency in a human-shaped suitcase. He is then given several missions by the head of the organization, all of which begin by ingesting a dose of prescription medicine. The missions assigned to Polyblank are almost always bizarre and nonsensical, relying heavily on free association and references to older movies and video games. Tasks include degaussing and smuggling pigeons, assassinating cowboys, cross-dressing, killing a pig with a ukulele, and photocopying Polyblank’s bottom to fool a security scanner.
By now, you are thinking Kevin must have had one heck of a fever dream if he thinks this game is for real. Well I hate to tell you, it was not a dream and this game is very real….and amazing for all of it’s oddities. I always love playing something fun, weird and different (see my history with Katamari Damacy, Chibi-Robo, and WarioWare games for example) so I had a blast with this game. I knew absolutely nothing about this game but had seen some artwork for it and thought it looked pretty cool. Now this game is probably not for everyone, but if you like adventure games, clever dialogue, throwbacks to movies and retro games, and just general wackiness it’s definitely worth downloading.
The entire-game can be beaten within a few hours, however I have been and will continue to go back to this one to find more jokes and minigames I didn’t come across the first time. A lot of this game can be missed if you only focus on the objectives and don’t take the time to explore the world and people around you. I cannot tell you the last time, if ever a game had made me laugh as much as I did playing this. It’s very hard to explain this game any better than I have in the above paragraphs, check out some of the screenshots to get a better feel, I also streams a little over half the game on our youtube channel as well so be sure to watch those for a better understanding. I did not wish to stream the ending because I really didn’t want to spoil some of the craziest stuff for the people who are going to play.
Control-wise it’s very easy to move with minimal button usage, the only thing that took some getting used to was how loose the camera felt when you moved, but after an hour or so I got a better feel for it. The music and sound add a lot to this game and it’s unique feel, some of the characters can be tough to understand but the captions are all there for a reason. I do recommend talking to characters more than once as their dialogue will change as you do and some will open up other gags and minigames such as spraying cheez-whiz in the mouth of a rich man who writes you into his will for it.
Jazzpunk was a pleasant surprise for me, and I cannot recommend it enough for anyone who just wants to kick back for a few hours and really have some light hearted fun with a game. Bring on the sequel!!!