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Review: Jones on Fire (Wii U eShop)

Message reputation : 100% (4 votes)
Wii U eShop Review

JONES ON FIRE
Glass Bottom Games

Published by Joindots

Wii U Version by SilentFuture

EU-Release: 2016-02-11
Price: 5,99€

NA-Release: 2015-12-10
Price: $5.99

Website / Trailer




KITTIES ARE CUTE AND SHOULD BE SAVED

Jones on Fire is a new stylish fast-paced two-button endless runner. Blocky protagonist and firefighter Emma Jones is out on her job in the burning woods to rescue cute kitties. Jumping over obstacles like logs and tree stumps and sliding through narrow sections and fire walls, while running automatically, to collect thousands of spinning and floating cats describes most of the gameplay.

The randomly generated stages are short and start off easy and simple. They get harder and faster the longer you survive. There's an immediate feel of tightness to the controls, the life force of a good runner. The smooth framerate and fast scrolling also deliver just as you would expect from a quality Wii U game. Also, the blocky art style and hyperactive animations of Jones really add a lot of charm. The presentation is rounded off by a good retro style 8bit soundtrack that changes every 4 stages and brings some nice variety. Unfortunately, as an endless runner, it's always through the same old bushes and burning trees with just a scarce amount of new obstacles added. Truth be told, it doesn't matter as long as there is a sense of progress and challenge. And it is there, from stage 8 onwards it's getting really tough. But for the harder difficulty the cat-multiplier also gradually goes up. So that's a neat trade-off. And you will want those cats, not just to pay for a continue when you run out of your 3 lives, but we'll come to that in a minute. Thankfully you're back at the fire department after every stage. And there are three things you can do other than moving straight to the next stage: Buy upgrades with kitties and golden kitties, look at your mission board, and watch your cat family grow as more and more get added every stage.


In the upgrade room you buy health points, power-ups, and new skills. Before you ask: No, you can't lose your kitties or upgrades. The game saves automatically after every stage and if you don't use a continue you're just back to stage 1, plus your highscore is saved. Moves like slide-jump and jump-slide are needed to perform more actions and add a great deal to the maneuverability of Jones, health points are needed so you can take in some free hits of course, and the power-ups add to the amount of time a power-up item is active or the chance of them popping up in the stages. Just like cats, and every other object in the stages, power-ups are randomly placed. There are three different ones: One makes you invincible for a certain amount of time, one draws all cats to you (auto-collect), and one gives you health points back. It's all pretty helpful, but the upgrades get more expensive as you level them up, so a lot of kittie collecting is required, especially the rare golden kitties are needed for the best stuff. Speaking of golden kitties you can also earn a couple of them every 24 hours just by starting the game, or by doing missions.


By having a look at the mission board you find you always have 3 objectives to achieve. Objectives like "Slide through a certain number of fire walls", "Run over a certain number of logs", "Run away from the fire a certain amount of times", "Let yourself burn a certain amount of times", "Collect a certain number of kitties", "Reach a certain stage", etc. After some mission solving, the missions repeat with just higher numbers but not really more golden kitties as a reward. *sadkittieface* Also, don't know if it was intended or if it's a little glitch: Only the third mission shows a counter such as "0/20" next to the mission. I feel every mission should have this information. If there wasn't a bar showing your progress visually this would really stand out as a major issue, but fortunately there's this second information as well.

Coming to issues from an overall good product: The one just mentioned is passable, but there are two other issues that were just as noticable in the test phase: There are instances in gameplay where the game doesn't scroll up and down while you're still jump-sliding in the air. The up & down scrolling only activates as soon as Jones feet touch the ground, so if you're making some wide downhill jumps there will be leaps of faith occasionally. The other issue is quite obvious when playing on GamePad only: There's no sound coming from the GamePad. Jones on Fire is perfectly mirrored on the GamePad visually, so it's unfortunate for this to be muted if you decide to play with GamePad only.


Jones on Fire is a nice looking and sounding runner that ticks all the right boxes. The gameplay is solid, the presentation is nice, the upgrades help adding replayability, and competing for highscores with others can be engaging and fun, but as you grind to unlock the best stuff it can get repetitive as well.

SKTTRSKORE: 7/10


Written by SKTTR on 6th March 2016.
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Comments

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Awesome review! Very Happy
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This looks like it's much better than I had imagined Very Happy
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Thanks for reviewing this title @SKTTR! Wink
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@ Pokefreak: Glad you enjoyed it. I hope it was helpful.
@ Otaku: Same here.
@ Ichigofan: I thank you man! Snorlax Smile
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@SKTTR Three reviews in one day? You and @Ichigofan sure are busy. Smile
Nice review btw. Smile
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Nice review @SKTTR!
You and @Ichigofan have been busy today. Smile
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Nice review!
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