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Lumber Jacked Review

By , on April 16, 2013
Last modified 1 year, 4 months ago


Lumber Jacked
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5

PROS

  • Smooth, speedy platforming designed for genre fans to easily pick up and master.
  • Amusing thematic concept; punch those beavers before they punch you.

CONS

  • Between control bugs and inconsistent AI, each attempt at a stage can vary wildly, which makes its time-trial gameplay a matter of luck and not skill.

VERDICT

We've seen Lumber Jacked and its platforming challenges before, but while it's polished in many respects, some of its bugs and gameplay features threaten to remove the satisfaction of acing its many three-star stages.


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That sense of deja vu you're feeling isn't surprising - we've seen this kind of skill-based platformer before, complete with its star-rating system based off completing the stage; collecting its bonus item; and crossing the finish line before a preset limit. Lumber Jacked is, in many ways (including its controls) very much the same game, but there is at least a twist.

For one, it's decidedly harder to complete the three-star requirements as you need to complete all three requirements in a single run. This proves to be extremely hard on some stages for two separate, but very important reasons.

Firstly, while the controls are simple enough to pick up and learn, there are some bugs that can prove to be helpful (or a hindrance) if you're lucky enough. Specifically, using your familiar 'dash punch attack' and then jumping can sometimes launch you in to a speedy lateral jump, bridging gaps quickly and without needing to 'double jump'. It's not a sure thing though, which means you can sometimes plow in to an enemy, pit, or wall without meaning to.

Secondly, the enemies you face may be varied, but their AI is entirely inconsistent. This is an important point as on some attempts they'll happily hop around in a predictable pattern, while on others they'll stop for no reason (sometimes refusing to move for significant periods), and can even self-terminate before you've even reached them.

Combine the above two and you can have anything from the smoothest ride from start to finish sans-enemies and at maximum speed, to unpredictable AI moving around locations they're not meant to be at as you plow face-first in to a wall of spikes.

This is not to speak of the extremely sticky wall-slide system that makes it difficult to navigate tiny corridors without invoking a migraine in the player.

When everything runs smoothly, Lumber Jacked is an amusingly themed, and otherwise slick time-trial style platformer ready to test your skills to the core, however this isn't a sure thing, and eventually this ticking time-bomb will have you tearing your hair out.

Screenshots

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