PAX Online 2020: Pumpkin Jack – First Impressions

In what may be the most appropriate demo theme for the season, Pumpkin Jack is a 3D platformer reminiscent of MediEvil—more or less good for all ages, with a spooky edge that will especially appeal to the Halloween fans among us. The game opens in a world where everything is calm and beautiful and lovely, until The Devil decides he’s bored and unleashes the Curse of Eternal Night across the world. When a powerful wizard appears to try to bring peace back to the world, in retaliation, The Devil summons Pumpkin Jack to continue wreaking havoc.

Okay, so the premise is pretty dark, and not exactly what we need more of, considering *gestures vaguely to everything.* But, in a spooky-esque game, it makes sense.

For the PAX demo, one level was available that did its best to set up the game, run players through a tutorial, and offer a taste of the game’s overall experience. First thing to note is that while it looks like an open-world game—the level design makes the areas look very expansive—it’s actually extremely linear. You begin in a spooky rural area and make your way through skull-filled cornfields and woodsy trails, finding collectibles, arguing with your corvid pal, and accidentally burning down a barn. Whoops.

There’s combat, but it’s nothing you haven’t seen before. It’s seamless, colorful, true to the art style, but you’ll be dodging and using ranged vs. close attacks (and a bit of AoE), things you’re already familiar with in this genre. And yet, it’s still fun and interesting, thanks to the fantastic theming and design.

And really, that’s the critical takeaway here. You’ve seen this before. You’ve played games like this before. In fact, you might even feel like you’ve been here before, especially if you’re a fan of Sleepy Hollow and its derivations, with a touch of The Nightmare Before Christmas. But that’s not a bad thing. It’s still bloody good fun.

The environment is vivid and exciting. The cartoon spookiness has broad appeal. The story—well, that’s a bit grim, but take it as you will in a Halloween-ish game. There are even moments when Jack detaches his head, and plops around as an animated pumpkin to solve puzzles. It’s quite entertaining.

It feels like a good fit for the Switch especially, so we’ll be keeping an eye out for more of this title closer to release.



PAX Online Listing Information:

  • Available on PC / Nintendo Switch / PlayStation 4 / Xbox One
  • Genre Action & Adventure / Arcade / Fighting / Kids & Family / Platform
  • Release date Q4 2020
  • Exhibitor Headup Games

Pumpkin Jack is a Spooky Scary 3D platformer in which you embody Jack, the Mythical Pumpkin Lord. Dive into an Epic Adventure through otherworldly landscapes and help the Evil annihilate the Good. Follow the will of the Devil himself and slay your nemesis in a quest that will take you on a journey in the Boredom Kingdom, a mythical realm shattered by the Curse. Travel through epic and dramatic settings, with each level having its own eerie atmosphere. Using a vibrant palette and high quality lighting effects, Pumpkin Jack invents its own unique cartoon universe inspired by the classic PS2 graphic style. Pumpkin Jack is a classic 3D Platformer before anything else! Every level will challenge you through several themed platforms, all giving you new trials to complete.



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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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