PAX East 2019: Joggernauts – “Let’s Try This Again…”

We’ve been seeing Joggernauts in one form or another at various PAX events for the past while, most recently (before this weekend) at PAX West 2018. It’s a game with a simple enough concept: Get up to four players together and try not to murder each other.

No, wait. That’s not it. Try not to kill your character or others. That sounds better… and yet, we’re proof that the former is perhaps a little more accurate.

Let me explain. You and a friend (up to 4 players) control characters of different colors. Each level is an obstacle course of sorts, an endless runner where you move forward with no stopping and no backing up. On your controller, you have one button that will swap your place with the person in the front. You need to position yourself in the front of the line when a color that corresponds with the color of your character is in front of you. If you fail, or if your friend happens to hit the color instead, you die and restart the level (or the checkpoint).

It’s one of those games that’s such a simple, easy-to-grasp idea… and yet it’s built for crushing both souls and friendships. Yay! If you manage to make it through a section with multiple colors alive, it’s thrilling! Such an achievement! And then… inevitably, someone will make a mistake. Someone else will scream. Someone else (maybe the same person) will insult the offender’s mother and/or the level of that individual’s intelligence. Perhaps explain the concept of colors and remind them exactly which color they are and how that corresponds to the colors visible on the screen…

Look, it’s fun, but it’s also frustrating and maybe not the greatest selection for those of the highly competitive persuasion. Or maybe it is, depends on which member of the team you are. Things haven’t really changed since the last time we took a look, and that’s probably good. Complexity wouldn’t enhance the experience—what we’ve got is quite enough.

Joggernauts is finally reaching the Nintendo Switch sometime later in 2019.


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Author: Faith View all posts by
Faith likes games and books and cake and writing and Lara Croft, not necessarily in that order. She also thinks a Skylanders cartoon show is a really, REALLY good idea...

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