Friday, January 4, 2019

Review: Job the Leprechaun [Nintendo Switch eShop]


One thing I’ve very much learned playing so many indie games is that looks can be deceiving and even if games may lack visual polish they can often make up for that with stellar gameplay. While there are some stand-out examples of this fact on the system for the most part Job the Leprechaun falls somewhere in the middle of things. Especially given its budget price it certainly has more to offer than its simple looks would imply. That said, on a system chock full and great platformers it middle at best so you’ll need to consider it carefully.


In the game you’ll play as the Leprechaun Job, who’ll need to collect shamrocks and whack enemies with his very large hat in order to survive. Collect all of the available clovers in question on the level and a door will be revealed, opening the way to the next one. Through 40 stages, some odd special levels, and some bosses you’ll need to show some smarts, move quickly, and whack some enemies and their projectiles. While it starts off almost painfully easy it doesn’t take long for the challenge to creep up on you. Even if initially the required execution may not be too bad the ever-present and somewhat cruel timer will force you to keep progressing or you’ll die as soon as it runs out.


To complicate matters the stages will often become increasingly puzzle-like, forcing you to be sure to work out your ideal flow ahead of time to be sure you don’t paint yourself into a corner. That’s an aspect of the game that I didn’t dig too much, especially since missing a key spot or a specific jump often results in needing to start over again as most of the time you have no provision to getting back into position. Probably my chief complaint in things though is just that the controls feel a bit too far on the loose side. It’s not too bad but in any platformer I always want to feel like I’m on top of things. Just something about the slight in your jumps and the specifics of how you swing your hat in some situations don’t feel quite as tight as I prefer. Throw in a limited number of lives and continues and it seems to want to be known for being tough but this just feels odd and out of place, I’m not sure what it really accomplishes in the end.


All things considered if you give it a few levels to get its legs under it Job the Leprechaun does feel like it earns its humble cost of admission pretty handily. While it is by no means a great platformer it keeps things pretty simple, it offers a fair degree of challenge, and it has some level designs that show some flair. Pick it up for the price, stay for a challenge you can enjoy easily on the go .


Score: 7

Pros:
  • Sticks to the basics for the most part and executes them reasonably well
  • The puzzle-like quality of some level layouts will make you think about what you need to do
  • The weird bonus levels and inclusion of some bosses is nice

Cons:
  • Visually its very bare bones and the slow initial levels make it tough to stick with until it hits its stride
  • Somewhat loose controls will result in deaths
  • The limited lives and continues may amp up the challenge I suppose but they feel unnecessary, just let people enjoy things at their own pace