Junk Jack App Review – A Wonderful Free-Roam Game with an Irresistible Pixel Aesthetic
You’ll first dive into Junk Jack without a clue of what you’re supposed to be doing – running around, tapping on random blocks. Then when night falls, the monsters devour you, and by this time you’re frustrated. Even with the gorgeous pixel aesthetic, innovative controls that no other developer has managed to pull off and other wonderful aspects of Pixbit’s newly released Junk Jack, it’s difficult to ignore the lack of proper instruction and the final product is a beautiful sandbox game without even a basic premise.
Junk Jack is essentially a sandbox game – what is that? It means that you can pretty much go out there and do really anything within the game’s powers that you want to do. If you’ve ever played Minecraft or Terraria, you’ll immediately notice the similarity of the two games to Junk Jack. Developer Pixbits intentionally made it look that way as the game is inspired by the two desktop classics. You have an inventory, and as you go around the randomly generated composed of various materials, you’ll collect a whole bunch of different things that you can further use to craft other items to build structures.
Your first task would be to collect a few materials to make a makeshift house. Once you get past the first night – I say this in that way because monsters come out at night – you can start to work on a more intricate, larger house that can be built over time. As you go along, and consult various wikis to help you, you’ll craft tools such as shovels, swords, torches and other things to aid you with survival.
The mining aspect of the game is truly great, to say the very least. As you delve deeper and deeper, you’ll discover a world more interesting and in a sense more appealing to the adventurous type in that the underground is pretty much a whole different world than above ground. There are various environments differentiating from the simpler ones above ground and also randomly-placed treasure chests, vases containing items and blocks containing gold, silver, copper, iron, etc. ore.
The two strongest points of the game in my honest opinion are first off, the game’s artwork. The pixel artwork nearly has enough of an awe-factor to cancel out the lack of instruction; everything and anything has been constructed pixel by pixel and so visually impressively to give the game both a retro yet modern look. The artwork along with the included chiptune soundtrack are enough to get you hooked on the game for loooong periods of time. Plus, the game has an accurate lighting system to indicate the various times of the day including the morning, night, dawn and everything else in between.
The second aspect worthy of praise in the game are the controls. There are multiple functions you can perform in the game and rather than cramping the screen with on-screen buttons, Pixbits have made it easy to move, jump, mine and other such tasks through a system of simple swipes and taps.
Like I stated above, Junk Jack is really in need of some initial directions to get you on the right path. In my humble opinion, I am a hardcore gamer (yeah right) and even I had to consult a few wiki pages on the game and some threads on Pixbit’s forums to get started with crafting everything. The end result of Pixbit’s game is simply an attractive sandbox game with tons of potential, but is weighed down by the fact that there’s no background story or instructions. And trust me, a game with some much depth (see what I did there?) definitely needs those two things to keep the player involved. Even so, Pixbits are working on an update which addresses the latter of those two issues and have also promised that they will back the game with quests and other desirable features in upcoming updates. So, based on that promise on their part, I’d say that Junk Jack is certainly worthy of your $2.99. Stay tuned!