Joggernauts – Review
Follow Genre: Action/Strategic Platformer
Developer: Space Mace
Publisher: Graffiti Games
Platform: PC, Switch
Tested on: PC

Joggernauts – Review

Site Score
8.0
Good: Original, unforgiving gameplay
Bad: It gets hard real fast, might scare some people off.
User Score
9.0
(4 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 9.0/10 (4 votes cast)

Couch co-op games became increasingly popular as the number of indie games started to rise exponentially thanks to the tools and tutorials that made it more easy for gaming fans to actually get into developing and publishing themselves. Some of these games guarantee a good time, others are a bit more experimental in nature and let the players experience something new. Joggernauts seems to be a bit of both at first glance. Let the party chaos begin!

Story

As a team of joggers is returning after a big competitive win in outer space, they find themselves drifting nowhere fast cause somebody spilled a drink which caused the ship to partially blow itself up. C.O.A.C.H, the team’s robotic coach, is furious and tells the joggers to get out there, find back the trophies that were blasted away in the accident, and if they can also preferably find some replacement parts for the ship. Cause, you know, stuck in space and all that. After a quick reminder of how you actually should jog around with partners, C.O.A.C.H leaves it all up to you and you start going from one place to another. During the game, you won’t really encounter any cutscenes or much more story.

Graphics

The graphics in this game are pretty cool, and slightly reminiscent of the golden age of flash games such as sites like Newgrounds for those who are familiar. It’s colorful, somewhat simple, and overall very enjoyable to look at. Especially with every bit of the focus you’ll need to properly play and win, more details are rather unwanted. And also, simple graphics doesn’t mean ugly graphics. It looks and moves smooth, from running and jumping animations to defeating enemies you walk into.

Sound

The background soundtracks are pretty plain and simple, yet also sound original and are adapted to each level. It comfortably fits into the rest of the game. The sound effects also fit but are little in numbers since most you will do is jump, switch, or die. Switching, for example, sounds as variated as flicking on and off a light switch. It doesn’t really matter in this game, yet it’s something noticeable when you start paying attention to it.

Gameplay

Joggernauts falls into weird genre boxes. It has platforming, it’s a party game for sure, but it could be said it has some action and strategic/puzzle elements as well. Do you remember how Monopoly is said to be a game to tear up families? Joggernauts could be a good second for sure. It’s like you are an alien centipede, a force connecting your joggers to each other on an invisible treadmill. If one jogger doesn’t work together well, the chance is high that the rest of the alien centipede will collapse as well. It’s an interesting way of presenting gameplay cause you are all in this train of weird-looking astronauts trying to survive, and it works out well.

If you want, you can play the game solo. In that case, you will use three keys to control two characters. With these keys, you can make the front and the back jump separately, or make characters switch (to the front, if you play with more people) in an instant. No matter what you do, the game will keep them running from the beginning to the end. You have to make sure you don’t collide with any object while running, and also you have to make sure that the color of the enemy or object you are going to encounter matches the color of the jogger who is in front of the jogging bunch. This also means there will be certain color combinations that require you to hectically press buttons at the right moment. Especially when playing as a team, this causes hilarious chaos to ensue.

One of the main elements of the game is that, because of all the chaos, you barely get time to think or communicate which makes the game hard. Yes. If you expected to have some casual fun, forget it. Maybe the first few levels will be all giggly and little stress, what follows is a screaming hell between each other, and it works out perfectly. Especially if you want to catch both trophies on each level, or even one, it can be very frustrating since they are chaotic short puzzles that require you (and your teammates) to insert a specific sequence with utmost precision. It doesn’t feel unfair though. It’s a nice little challenge that keeps the game filled with ”extra” things to beat, and sometimes you’re even required to visit these challenges if you want to pass on to higher levels. If you do manage to get both trophies on a level, you are also allowed to do a bonus sequence that will make you show off a level as ”100% completed” with a star symbol. It’s all really well thought through as overall game design.

Conclusion

Joggernauts is a fun game to play in the way that it’s challenging and will cause some tension between players, but also sets tough, decent challenges for you to complete either solo or as a team. It’s one of the better party games out there to have a quick laugh and some fun for a few and is still able to remain a serious game for others. Perhaps the game is a bit too hard for just anybody to join and finish it, but at least there is plenty inside to amuse you allowing you to return to the game on a regular base.

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Rating: 9.0/10 (4 votes cast)
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Joggernauts - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 4 ratings
Pim Hoogeveen
Pim Hoogeveen


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