Jazzpunk Review

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Posted June 24, 2014 by Roshan Krishnan in Video Games

I found myself bored in the middle of the day, and decided to play something on my computer that I had never even bothered to open once: Jazzpunk.

The game is an oddity in an industry filled with generic copies of the same old formulaic product. The game is best interred into its own class, but for the sake of the public, I will classify it as most nearly a comedy. The staff at Necrophone games, who created it, claim that they drew inspiration for it from cyberpunk novels of yesteryear. Rest assured, players who have never read such novels, can equally enjoy the experience.

In Soviet Russia, Consulate infiltrates you

Jazzpunk is set in an alternate universe where Japan won the World War. Also, the world is filled with spies, presumably due to the Soviet Era. In one particular sequence, the player can explore the world map, and see that USA is now called the United Prefectures of Japanada. And here’s what China looks like on the map…

No caption, as I can’t beat that

The game revolves around Agent Polyblank, who arrives at his spy agency, located in an abandoned subway station, in a human sized suitcase. From the first second, the game is filled with a plethora of humorous gags to keep you entertained. Considering that Adult Swim developed the game, this comes as no surprise.

Jazzpunk’s barrage of jokes does not cease. I couldn’t stop laughing during the introductory sequence, as I couldn’t believe the audacity of the game. The references in the game range from James Bond to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Even the main plot is humorous; it seems ridiculous that someone would think 6 hours had passed by, simply if the clock hands were moved.

Blocks of text are prevalent in Jazzpunk, and they convey both objectives and one-liners. The range of jokes in the game is wide; technology jokes are more appreciated by me, and so I show some of my favorites here. Don’t worry, there are a myriad of other gags as well.

 

 

But Jazzpunk is not merely a series of jokes; the game has numerous minigames, most of which are adaptations or parodies of popular games. The other minigames are downright uproarious. One of the them involves a cat ruining expensive furniture, and the score is calculated by the monetary value of the damage done.

A parody of games like Tekken

The interactions with random objects provides something to the viewers, either a joke  or a minigame. The player is thus rewarded for exploring every inch of the environment. Once, I randomly stumbled upon a shop filled with vases, where the patron wished to get rid of the flies, and handed me a flyswatter. Of course, this minigame resulted in many vases(are those Ming?) getting destroyed. However, after the game, the player can use the flyswatter to hit the owner of the store, who says(after a few initial protests) “I kind of like this now”.

One particular minigame that stood out to me, was the Wedding Cake Quake. Jazzpunk draws on games like Counterstrike, but with Wedding Cake Machine Guns that shoot out corks. Oh, and the loser, gets married.

The game does lose a bit of steam towards the end, as the last sequence with the antagonist is mostly filled with minigames. But even then, the game does try to reel you back in, and make you laugh. The tennis game seems unbeatable, until you realize that you can take a chair, and beat your opponent with it for a victory.

WWE meets Tennis

The game isn’t too long, and I was able to complete it in a couple of hours, even though I explored all the corners of the world and completed most side-quests. Jazzpunk is a great entertainer, even more so than many movies of the same genre. The visual aspect of the game makes it even funnier; I loved the sequence where Polyblank decides to photocopy his butt. For lovers of tech-jokes and similar entertainment, this game is even more worthwhile, simply because of the variety of such jokes. I have never laughed harder than I did when I saw a picture titled ‘Employee of the Month’ and another one next to it titled ‘Mainframe of the Month’.

The whimsical nature of the game can even get dark at times. There is one interaction that causes a hot tub ‘genocide’ that kills three people. The player can then fill a punch glass with their remains and serve this to a woman who says ‘So thick’.

The combination of minigames and jokes make Jazzpunk a success. I would play it a couple of times, but the jokes aren’t new, and they are more of the ‘hit or miss’ variety; if you don’t like a few of them, chances are you won’t like most of them. The lightness of Jazzzpunk is a welcome addition to the videogame industry. I hope more games can follow its lead and try new things. Jazzpunk is the funniest game that I have ever played.


About the Author

Roshan Krishnan

Roshan is an avid writer and was recommended by four out of five doctors. He loves watching TV shows, reading as many novels as he can, and generally surfing the internet. He would be a much better writer if he knew how to finish stuf