While people who enjoy storytelling and some quirk may enjoy a bit of creative improv, the game has some quirks
Before getting into the merits and shortcomings of this specific title I’d point you to a much earlier indie game that’s less refined but quite similar in its overall structure, The Rainsdowne Players. Very similarly, in that title you and your friend are trying your best to get people to love your shows, trying to cater the story to meet the demands of the crowd. While not played in precisely the same way, Once Upon a Jester picks up and runs with that same ball a bit, and at least gets it to advance further down the road of quality. There’s no question that the main characters, Jester and Sok, and the somewhat odd people they’ll run into drive most of the game’s fun and humor, while the other highlights can be a bit more hit and miss in the execution of your plays. There’s just something that doesn’t feel quite as refined as it should be when you engage in the small mini games needed to advance the story and get the most crowd enjoyment out of them as possible. Talking around town and working with people seems to be the path for success for understanding what sort of style they’re currently looking for, but your in-performance tasks more often than not don’t feel as cleanly implemented as they should, letting some steam out of the experience. It’s still worthwhile for creative folks, but for the rest it’s less likely to feel like a must-buy proposition on the eShop.
Justin Nation, Score: