Humble Bundle with Android 5 ReviewGuest_Jim_* - March 10, 2013
» Discuss this article (2)
Dynamite Jack Review:
The best way I can think to describe this game without much detail is to call it simple in the right ways. The story of Dynamite Jack is not too special or even original, but it is enough to explain what is happening in the game. You are a captured Space Marine who has been imprisoned in a mine. The time has come for you to escape and to help you do that you have a flashlight and an unlimited supply of bombs.
The gameplay is a combination of Bomberman and the flashlight-stealth games where you have to keep out of an enemy's cone of light as they patrol the level. Learn the movements of your enemies and you can plant bombs along their paths and remove them as a threat.
The execution of the gameplay, at least for the Android version, is where the 'simple in the right ways' comment is most true, and I wish the PC version were a little more like it. To move around on the Android version you can use a virtual joystick or you can trace out the path you want to walk with your finger. Both of these movement options can be enabled at the same time, so you can use whichever, whenever you want. You can also disable one or the other if you wish. In the Windows version though, you are limited to directional pad movement with the arrow keys. I wish I could use the mouse to trace out paths, similar to the Android version, but alas, the mouse buttons actually activate the flashlight and drop/explode the bombs.
The graphics in both versions are not exactly great, but definitely good for what the game is; an arcade game. Moving characters remind me of those in Diablo and Diablo 2, and looking at the files installed for the Windows version, we can see why, like in those older games, characters are not as much rendered as have specific images displayed in sequence. This style does give the characters an arcade-y look to them, which makes sense because this would be considered an arcade game. The environment is constructed of repeating images, which you would expect from an arcade game. Interestingly the game supports both a landscape and portrait window on my Android phone. Given the design of the game, either mode works, though your fingers may feel cramped in portrait.
The music to the game is surprisingly dramatic and epic. Some of the tracks you could expect to be playing during a BioWare game cinematic, but instead they drive this arcade experience. Other tracks though are more atmospheric and are perfectly fitting the dark, prison mine setting. The Humble Bundle with Android 5 does not explicitly contain the soundtrack but it can be found among the installed files as OGG files.
I have not played enough to know how long the gameplay lasts, but given the multiple achievements tied to each map, it could take some time to perfect the game. These achievements include time finding every collectible on a map and completing it in so much time. Further lengthening the game time is the map editor, which allows any player to create their own maps, and share them with the community. To identify yourself as the creator of a map, you do need an account with the Galcon community. The editor is present in both the Android and Windows versions, with almost the same interface, so you can choose between mouse and touchscreen controls. Once a map is made on one device though, you cannot get it to the other without sharing it with the community. You do have the ability to hide maps though. Unfortunately, even though the maps are recognized as yours, because they are tied to your account, I have not found any way to create a map on one device and edit it further on the other. Perhaps a way does exist, but I have not found it within the application.
Should Dynamite Jack make the bundle explode with sales? I am a little torn on that, so I will say no, but I still recommend the game. Of what I've played I can easily say it is a very good game, especially on Android. If you are looking for a good Android game, I do not believe you will be disappointed by this one, and it just feels so good on my phone that it is worth a shot. I am just not comfortable saying that this game alone makes purchasing the bundle worth it. If you don't mind spending the money though, or if you purchase the bundle for another game, be sure to check this one out!