If you happen to take off somewhere far away, such as space for instance, you’re going to need to double-check your crew has the ship maintained and well in order. While you’re up there, be aware of things such as black holes and maybe asteroids. The crew in Gear Jack ($0.99, App Store Link) didn’t quite plan their mission too well.
Aboard the W-Hale automated Starship everything goes awry and the ship gets struck by an electromagnetic shock. Since Jack is the only robot unaffected by the events, it’s up to him to save the ship before it enters a black hole.
Forest Moon Games, the sister company of Crescent Moon Games, focuses exclusively on 2D and casual games. Crescent Moon seems to have a great track record of platformers such as the immensely popular, Paper Monsters. Gear Jack seems to live up to the same great quality, but in 2d form.
Most skill-based platformers don’t quite work as well as they do on a console, but Gear Jack seems to have it down pretty well. In a way the game feels like a mix between your traditional platformer because of the difficulty and an endless runner being that there isn’t a directional pad, but only other action buttons.
Gear Jack is really intuitive in the sense that there’s so much more to it than just jumping. There are a great number of obstacles that Jack runs into along the way and because he’s a robot, he has a number of ways of maneuvering through them. Since the ship fell apart, there’s a lot of certain things you have to watch out for such as falling gears, different traps, enemies, and acid. Gear Jack is a pretty difficult platformer and it shows early on the the beginning levels.
There aren’t any checkpoints and each level is a bit long, so if you die, you have to start the level from the beginning. This isn’t a knock on Gear Jack at all. The game is so entertaining because of the added mechanics and of how challenging each level is. Even after you beat the game, there’s random trap generation so it won’t be the same the second time around, which gives Gear Jack endless replay value.
Jack can roll, jump, and perform mid-air maneuvers. The rolling aspect is strict because unlike in some other platform games such as Sonic, the difference in Gear Jack is you’re just rolling to get through certain spots within the level. Since the game had an endless runner aspect, you have to roll Jack at just the right time, otherwise he’ll die.
For instance, if you’re rolling under a ceiling and you let go of the roll button, he’ll run into the ceiling and the level will end. There are also jump and roll icons in the air, which will help you jump or roll further. You can also slow Jack down with the clock icon on the top right. It lasts a few seconds, so it should only be used for those really tough spots.
The controls of Gear Jack are one of the more important aspects of the game. They’re simple for the most part. It takes just a few minutes to get used to. The short tutorial helps a lot. There are six different GUI modes for controls, so you have plenty of options to choose from if you want the buttons on screen or not.
Sometimes I caught myself not accurately pressing a certain button because it wasn’t on screen. If you want to get used to the controls, the first four GUI modes are best because even the first GUI shows vaguely. If you feel the gameplay is too fast, you can lower the speed of Jack in the garage, which is a neat option.
Gear Jack is a really intriguing platformer that has plenty to offer. The random trap generation is a welcoming addition, especially in a 2d platform game just because most platformers on the app store really have little replay value if any. As I mentioned earlier, because there aren’t any checkpoints, the game can be really hard at times. I think it can even be considered a more hardcore platformer along the lines of Super Meat Boy because of such elements as the traps and level design.
Also, there are a few times where the controls don’t receive feedback if you press a certain button, but that’s few and far between. Other than that, there isn’t really anything that’s holding gear Jack back. No matter how easy or hard it may come to you, it’s a really fun game either way.
Price: $0.99, App Store Link
- Challenging gameplay
- Great art style
- Random trap generation for endless replay value
- Character garage with attributes customization
- No checkpoints in levels
- Controls don’t receive feedback at times, which can cost you to start a level over