Gear Jack – Getting Twitchy With It

3.5 Overall Score
Gameplay: 3.5/5
Design: 4/5
Duration: 3.5/5

Nails the style | Balances frustration and fun | High quality design

Could use an alternate endless mode | Would benefit from optional checkpoints | Frustrating

Gear Jack is what is known as a twitch based platformer in the style of Super Meat Boy, The Impossible Game, 1-bit Ninja, and many more. The game is all about speed, and reaction time as your character runs automatically, and you simply tap to either duck or jump. It becomes increasingly challenging with ever increasing speed and complexity. For Gear Jack in particular, you’re running through an abandoned starship dipping into the depths of a black hole, and the action never stops.

There are plenty of collectibles along the way that can distract you from simply completing a level. Gear Jack nails the style the game is based on, though this can lead to some frustration by the player. It’s definitely discouraging when you have to play a level numerous times going through the same stretches, and die right at the end. In fact, the games become more of a repetitive chore that rely on memorization as you know exactly what the level holds, but you just need to execute at the right times. There are even portions that you need to die in just to understand what you need to do the next time through.

There are 30 levels included with every increasing variations that include hidden traps, floating sequences, and jump to duck turnarounds. The game is easy to control to let you focus on the challenge ahead, though you do need to hold the controls to complete the sequences. You need to hold to jump further, and hold to roll through tight squeezes. It would be nice to have two modes with the challenging style to complete in one run, with an option of a half-way checkpoint with a score multiplier for success without the checkpoint. The art style is deluxe with highly stylized worlds that use contrasting colors nicely.

Gear Jack ($0.99, Universal) provides high quality platforming action that is challenging, engaging, frustrating, and rewarding all at the same time. Gear Jack is worth picking up as it nails the style, though it’s not a game for everyone.


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